24 April 2007

Consumers should eat more grains

The consistent evidence linking whole grains to a decrease in the risk of heart disease should push policy makers to redouble their efforts to get the public eating more grains.

The consistent evidence linking the consumption of whole grain to significant decreases in the risk of heart disease should push policy makers to redouble their efforts to get the public eating more of the grains, scientists behind a new meta-analysis have said.

Efforts should be redoubled
"In light of this evidence, policy makers, scientists, and clinicians should redouble their efforts to incorporate clear messages on the beneficial effects of whole grains into public health and clinical practice endeavours," he said.

Whole grains have received considerable attention in the last year, especially in the US where the FDA permits foods containing at least 51 percent whole grains by weight and are low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol to carry a health claim, which links them to a reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

The research study
The reviewers behind the new meta-analysis, from Wake Forest University in the US, identified seven cohorts with quantitative whole grain estimates and clinical cardiovascular event rates. The pooled average intake of participants with the highest intake of whole grain was 2,5g per day, and the lowest average was 0,2g per day.

Refining removes important agents
They note that refining grains removes many biologically active agents from the grain, including fibre, vitamins, minerals, lignans, phytosterols and other plant compounds.

Consumers need whole-grain guidance
Wholewheat getting better


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