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Whole grain foods have huge health benefits

The researchers say, that whole grain food greatly reduces the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

india Updated: Jan 19, 2006 14:52 IST

The dietary benefits of whole grain foods have for long been known and documented, and now researchers say, that their consumption greatly reduces the risk offalling foul of the metabolic syndrome, that leads to an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

A new study led by University of Maryland professor Nadine Sahyoun, and published in the January edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has revealed that elders who ate three whole grain food servings a day, had a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome than people who ate less than one serving a day.

"There have been studies that show the benefits for a middle-aged population," said Sahyoun, assistant professor in Maryland's department of nutrition and food science. "Ours is the first study that shows the relationship between eating whole grains and the health benefits for older people, whose metabolic characteristics are different from younger adults," Sahyoun said.

In a group whose average age was 72 for men and 73 for women, the study found that subjects who consumed about three servings of whole grain a day, such as whole grain bread, cereal and brown rice, had a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome than people who ate less than one serving a day.

"Whole-grain foods contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and other things that are removed during refining," said Sahyoun.

"We recommend that whole grain intake should start from a very young age to develop a healthy lifestyle. Cardiovascular changes and diabetes risk are starting to occur earlier now, especially due to the obesity epidemic," he concluded.