Including more whole grains in the diet would have benefits

A diet rich in « refined » grains (such as white bread, cookies and muffins) may increase the risk of heart disease and early death, while whole grains may reduce it, according to a study.

« We encourage people to have a moderate carbohydrate intake, and to consume different types of grains, especially whole grains, » said lead researcher Mahshid Dehghan of the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University in Hamilton. , Ontario, Canada.

Eating whole grains has many benefits. Photo: Pixabay Recommended in diets

« Reducing the quantity and improving the quality of carbohydrates is the message of our study, » Dehghan said.

Grains such as oats, rice, barley and wheat make up about half of the world’s diets, and up to 70 percent in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa and southern Africa. Asia, the researchers noted.

The findings do not prove that a diet rich in refined grains causes strokes, heart attacks or other forms of heart disease, only that there appears to be a link.

For the study, the researchers collected data from more than 137,000 people from 21 countries, aged 35 to 70, with no history of heart disease, who were followed for more than nine years.

It was found that people who reported eating 12 ounces (about 312 grams) of refined grains a day had a 27 percent higher chance of early death, and a 33 percent higher risk of heart disease, than those who they limited their intake to less than 2 ounces (about 57 grams) a day.

A diet rich in refined grains was also linked to higher blood pressure, the findings showed.

The participants themselves reported the amount and type of grains in their diets, so the researchers noted that they cannot guarantee the accuracy of these data.

The study looked at white rice apart from other refined grains, because more than 60 percent of the participants lived in Asia, where rice is a staple food.

Dehghan said no significant link was found between eating whole grains or white rice and adverse health outcomes.

« Getting about 50 to 60 percent of your energy from carbohydrates is adequate, but we encourage people to cut back on carbohydrates, » he recommended.

The report appears in the February 3 online issue of BMJ magazine.

Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Health in New York City, reviewed the findings.

« We can all benefit from including more whole grains, such as quinoa, barley, kasha, whole wheat, oats and corn, in our daily diet, » Heller said.

Whole grains contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protective phytochemicals that are important for health.

Refined grains, on the other hand, do not contain fiber. They are found in sugary cereals, white bread, cookies, cakes, muffins, pretzels, batters, desserts, and fast and junk food, Heller explained.

« When we consume too many refined grains, which means fiber and nutrients have been removed, we deprive our bodies of those health-promoting nutrients, and they are often replaced with sugar, saturated fat, sodium and empty calories, » he warned. .

Research has found that dietary patterns high in fiber, plant-based foods and whole grains help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, certain types of cancer and diabetes, Heller noted.

« We must balance our dietary patterns so that they focus more on fiber and are richer in plant-based foods, » he said.

There are many ways to add whole grains to the diet, and people should review products to make sure they are consuming whole grains, Heller advised.

« Try whole wheat tortillas with pinto beans, zucchini, and carrots; whole grain cereals like oatmeal or shredded wheat; brown rice with sauteed peppers, broccoli, sweet peas, and tofu; vegetarian chili made with bulgur, beans Red berries and whatever veggies you have on hand, or a hummus, tomato and cucumber sandwich on whole grain multigrain bread, « Heller suggested.

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