Like you need a reason to cut into a healthy wholemeal breadbrood bread, a new study has revealed just how powerful eating a healthy amount whole grain every day can be yours Health. We have the exact amount the researchers suggest you should eat, with the intriguing mechanism behind this physiological effect.
For a new study published last week in the peer-reviewed Food magazine, a team of food epidemiology researchers from Tufts and Harvard Universities analyzed the dietary habits of 3,100 people. From the time the study participants were in their 50s, the researchers checked in once every four years for an 18-year period to collect medical records from them.
RELATED: 7 healthiest foods to eat right now
A common finding among the study population was that individuals who ate three or more daily servings of whole grains over the 18-year period had “a lower mean increase in waist size (half an inch compared to an inch) and a greater decrease in triglyceride levels over each period of 18 years.” four years, “according to CNN. This was compared with a group that ate less than half a serving per day.
Also for the whole-wheat set, the increases were lower for blood sugar levels and systolic blood pressure (which, according to one Harvard University, is more commonly associated with heart disease and stroke than diastolic blood pressure).
The reasons behind these effects of whole grains, as the researchers explain them, seem compelling. When it comes to blood sugar control, co-author Caleigh Sawicki, PhD, MPH explained, “Soluble fiber in particular may have a beneficial effect on post-meal blood sugar spikes.”
As for the weight-related benefits of eating whole grains, Sawicki suggests they have a “satiating effect” that may inspire individuals to eat less. Sawicki also explains that systolic blood pressure was lower thanks to the antioxidants and minerals, such as magnesium and potassium, that are left in these foods when the grain is left whole.
Look at the side panel of whole-wheat pasta, cereal, brown rice, and other foods to determine a single serving, bearing in mind that a food is considered “whole-grain” when each serving consists of a half ounce of those grains.
For the latest insights on healthy eating, sign up for the Eat this, not that! newsletter and keep reading: