Large consumption of heavily processed (refined) grains is associated with a greater risk of heart failure and death than with whole (unrefined) grains. Using a large quantity of processed grains, such as croissants and white bread, is associated with an increased risk of serious cardiovascular disease, stroke and early death.
A recent study published in The British Medical Journal by researchers including SFU health sciences professor Scott Lear showed that eating a large amount of processed grains, such as croissants and white bread, is correlated with a higher risk of severe cardiovascular disease, stroke and early death.
A new study found consuming a high number of refined grains, such as croissants and white bread, is associated with a higher risk of major cardiovascular disease, stroke, and early death.
Whole grains tend to be richer in dietary fibers, proteins, nutrients, and essential fatty acids than in processed grains. Previous findings have shown that higher whole grain consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality, but no strong correlation has been seen with processed grains. To resolve this evidence discrepancy, researchers set out to determine the relationship of intakes of processed grain, whole grain, and white rice with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality.
The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) research examined diets from diverse populations in low-, middle-and high-income countries around the world. Over 16 years of study of 137,130 participants in 21 countries, including Canada, researchers have observed that the consumption of processed grains and added sugars has risen significantly over the years.
Grains have been divided into three groups: processed grains, whole grains, and white rice. Refined grains included products manufactured from refined (e.g. white) wheat, including white bread, pasta/noodles, breakfast cereals, crackers, and baking products/desserts containing refined grains. Whole grains included whole grain flours (e.g. buckwheat) and intact or cracked whole grains (eg. steel-cut oats).
According to the survey, the review consisted of 137,130 participants aged 35 to 70 years who have no history of heart disease. Participants used diet frequency questionnaires to evaluate their consumption of processed grains, whole grains, and white rice with follow-up every three years. The study showed that eating more than seven servings of processed grain a day was associated with a 27 percent higher risk of early death, a 33 percent higher risk of heart failure, and a 47 percent higher risk of stroke.
“This study re-affirms previous work indicating a healthy diet includes limiting overly processed and refined foods,” says Lear. No significant adverse health effects were found with consuming whole grains or white rice.
The study indicated that refined grains contained refined flour products such as white bread, pasta or noodles, breakfast cereals, crackers, baking products, and desserts. Whole grains contained whole grain flours, such as buckwheat, and intact or cracked whole grains, including steel-cut oats.
Higher intakes of processed grains were also correlated with higher blood pressure, but there was no substantial correlation between intakes of whole grains or white rice and health outcomes. This is an observational analysis, so no cause can be established, and researchers point to certain drawbacks, such as focusing on food questionnaire recall, which may have impaired the quality of the findings.
The research recommends consuming whole grain foods such as brown rice and barley, and using less cereal grains and processed wheat products. Reducing one’s average intake of processed grains and improving the quality of carbohydrates is important for improved health outcomes.
To help counteract the results of the study, researchers recommend consuming whole grain foods such as brown rice and barley, as well as including less high-sugar cereal grains and processed wheat items in one diet. “Intakes of a mixture of cereal grains and a lower intake of processed wheat goods should be promoted thus encouraging higher intakes of whole grains. Reduction in quantity and increase in the production of carbohydrate are important for improved health outcomes; “The study said that.