Researchers have demonstrated an association between consuming more whole grains and improved measures of risk factors for CVD.
In the research, which appears in the Journal of Nutrition, the researchers also found an association between eating more refined grains and worse measures of some of these risk factors.
The findings provide further evidence that increased consumption of whole grains has health benefits.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CVDs “are the leading cause of death globally.” In 2019, almost 18 million people died due to CVDs — the vast majority by either stroke or heart attack.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that in the United States, a person dies from CVD every 36 seconds, accounting for 1 death in every 4.
To prevent CVD, the CDC advises that a person avoids smoking, avoids overweight and obesity, and stays physically active. The CDC also suggests a person should eat as healthy a diet as possible.
A 2015 review indicated that eating a healthier diet — including more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, vegetable oil, and poultry — could reduce a person’s risk of CVD by a third.
More specifically, researchers have found significant evidence for the beneficial effects of eating more whole grains. This reduces the risk of CVD and death due to cancer, respiratory disease, infectious disease, and all-cause mortality.
However, there has been less research looking at the relationship between whole grain consumption and the early warning signs of CVD.
These early signs include a person’s waist circumference, blood pressure, levels of fasting plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, plasma triglyceride, and blood glucose.