Let the grain bashing end – here’s why

The grain bashing continues. If you’ve given up or are now considering forsaking grains for health’s sake, think again.   If it’s refined grains you’re banishing, be my guest. But here’s the latest in a very long list of studies showing the health perks of whole grains.

According to a just published report, eating more whole grains is linked to a lesser chance of dying earlier, especially from heart disease and stroke.

The study, which was published in the journal, JAMA Internal Medicine, investigated  the association between eating whole grains and the risk of death. The data analyzed is from two large ongoing  studies conducted by Harvard University scientists – the Nurses’ Health Study  (1984-2010) and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (1986-2010).

Together the studies included more than 115,000 subjects who were all free of cancer and cardiovascular disease at the start of the investigations.

The authors further estimated that every serving (28 grams/per day) of whole grains was associated with 5 percent lower total mortality or 9 percent lower  mortality from cardiovascular disease. They didn’t, however,  find a connection between dying from cancer and whole grain consumption.

They concluded, “These findings further support current dietary guidelines that recommend increasing whole grain consumption to facilitate primary and secondary prevention of chronic disease and also provide promising evidence that suggests a diet enriched with whole grains may confer benefits toward extended life expectancy”.

While you may be looking for nutritious eats that offer a range of health benefits, it’s also key to make your offerings palate pleasing. Be adventurous and try different whole grains instead of your usual repertoire.  But if you’ve eliminated grains due to gluten, fill the nutrient gap with assorted gluten-free options such as quinoa, buckwheat and millet.

For whole grain cooking basics, check out this chart from the Whole Grains Council.

Are you an adventurous whole grain eater? What are your favourites and how do you like to prepare them?  Please share in the comment section below.

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Categories: Nutrition News

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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6 Comments on “Let the grain bashing end – here’s why”

  1. January 12, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

    My son says Canadian canola oil is evil. That it is industrialized and GMO. Should I replace it with a healthier cooking oil?

    • January 16, 2015 at 9:34 am #

      Gillian, I will address this question in an upcoming post!

  2. sharon pullam
    January 12, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

    Rosie can you recommend some healthy breads for us to eat? Tks.

    • January 16, 2015 at 9:36 am #

      I can do that, Sharon, if I am familiar with products in your area! Can you tell me where you live? But i will also give you some general guidelines.

      • Sharon Pullam
        January 16, 2015 at 9:45 am #

        Hi Rosie, I live in Toronto, Ontario. I am currently in Naples, Florida. Right now I am eating Ezekial flax bread, which is sprouted. I am looking for a bread for my husband as well…don’t want him eating bagels and white bread. Thanks for your help.

  3. January 16, 2015 at 9:51 am #

    Thanks, Sharon! I am indeed familiar with Toronto- that’s where I live! I will have a post in the next few weeks. Stay tuned! And enjoy the warm weather!

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