The Evidence-Based Health Benefits Of Whole Grains

There is a significant amount of misinformation circulating the internet when it comes to whole grains and their health status.

We have reached a point in the online diet and nutrition industry where many individuals don’t even know what basic food-groups are healthy or not any more according to the scientific evidence, due to the level of disinformation out there.

With the rise in popularity of Paleolithic and “Stone-age” type diet patterns that exclude the likes of grains and legumes completely from the diet, there is more need now than ever to dispel the various diet myths when it comes to whole grains and set the record straight on this topic.

Proponents of low carb and Paleolithic diets often use the negative health effects of refined grains and try to apply this to healthy whole grains also, which have actually been associated with a reduction in the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and reduced all-cause mortality.

This is obviously a far cry from the claims of the low carb diet “gurus” out there who would like us to believe that healthy plant-based foods such as whole grains should be removed from the diet completely and replaced with excessive quantities of red meat or saturated fat rich animal foods in their place.

Whole grains contain endosperm, germ, and bran, in contrast to refined grains, from which germ and bran was removed during the milling process.

Whole grains are a good source of many nutrients including dietary fiber, B-complex vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc.

Whole grains also play an important role as a component of many heart-healthy diet patterns from the Mediterranean diet to plantbased diets such as vegan and are thought to play a role in the metabolic health benefits these diets may have to offer.

Examples of whole grains include whole-wheat, oatmeal, buckwheat, brown rice, amaranth, millet and quinoa.

Whole Grain Intake Is Associated With Reduced Risk Of Coronary Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, Total Cancer & All-Cause MortalityA systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies published 2016 in The BMJ quantified the dose-response relation between consumption of whole grain and specific types of grains and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, and all cause and cause specific mortality.

The systematic review and dose-repsonse meta-analysis of prospective studies concluded:

This meta-analysis provides further evidence that whole grain intake is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and total cancer, and mortality from all causes, respiratory diseases, infectious diseases, diabetes, and all non-cardiovascular, non-cancer causes.

Reductions in risk were observed up to an intake of 210-225 g/day (seven to seven and a half servings/day) and for whole grain bread, whole grain breakfast cereals, and added bran.

These findings support dietary guidelines that recommend increased intake of whole grain to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and premature mortality.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *