At breakfast, order a side of whole-wheat toast—for your heart. University of Eastern Finland scientists found that whole grains contain compounds that improve glucose metabolism—how sugar is processed—which can help stave off illness, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
In the study, 123 people at risk for heart issues ate a diet either high or low in whole grains for 12 weeks. The high group had more betaine compounds in their blood, which improves cell function. One compound acts similarly to the way certain heart drugs do—and eating whole-grain pasta is more fun than popping a pill.