It is hard to escape the message that whole grains are good for you. But few Americans put it into practice.
By some estimates, fewer than 1 in 10 adults eat three servings of whole grains a day. And about 4 out of 10 eat none.
Now a new study adds strength to the argument that a better diet can lead directly to better health. Writing in the online edition of the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, researchers say they have confirmed a clear connection between whole-grain intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
“In light of this evidence,” write the authors, led by Dr. Philip B. Mellen of Wake Forest University, “policy makers, scientists and clinicians should redouble efforts to incorporate clear messages on the beneficial effects of whole grains into public health and clinical practice endeavors.”
The researchers based their findings on a review of seven earlier studies that followed people’s diets and health over time. In all, more than 285,000 people were involved.
The new study found that on average, people who ate two and a half servings of whole grains a day had a 21 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those who ate a fifth of a serving.