The Health Benefits of Whole Grains
Whole-grains like everything else should always be eaten in moderation. Nobody is suggesting that you must eat an extreme amount of whole grains. A recent JAMA study concluded that you could get a health benefit from eating as little as two slices of whole wheat bread every day.
Contents of the Health Benefits of Whole Grains:
- General Topics
- Risk of heart disease
- All-cause mortality
- Risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Effect on insulin sensitivity
- Effect on cholesterol
- Development of obesity
- Development of cancer
Improve your Nutrition at the Advanced LevelHaving gotten rid of your sweet tooth and STOPPED eating adulterated Fast and Junk Food completely, you now are in a good position to concentrate on making sure that the healthy whole food that your are eating is supplying the right nutrients, in the correct ratios.
- Advanced Healthy Diet Guidelines
- Cook your food with Spice
- Get Carotenes from your diet
- Benefits of Whole-Grains
Making a commitment to eat whole-grains is an advanced healthy diet technique that has a lot in common with eating only organic produce. It takes a lot of effort to add whole-grains, but doing so will definitely add quality to your diet. Baking homemade whole-wheat bread is a feasible health strategy that only takes about five minutes of your time.
"Most whole-grain wheat kernels are composed of 80% endosperm (the predominant component of refined flour, which is rich in starch and protein but poor in most micronutrients), 15% bran (a major source of fiber, micronutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals), and 5% germ (plant embryo). .... However, refined-grain products and their fiber do not appear to confer health-protective effects; this suggests that these health benefits do not lie in the endosperm. Results of the study by Jensen et al suggest that germ, likewise, may not be an important source of protective constituents. Furthermore, this same study strongly suggests that bran components may contain the most important bioactive constituents."[Anderson, 2004]
Enriched wheat flour offers no health benefits. Neither does plain wheat flour. Only baked goods made with whole-grain flour offers these health benefits. In order to qualify as a whole-grain product, whole-wheat or some other whole-grain should be listed as the very first ingredient on the food label. In addition, stone ground is not a requirement for whole grains. If anything, it is a negative as it can introduce sand and other types of stone into your diet.
The vast majority of baked flour products being sold today are NOT authentic whole-grain products. Next to no commercial products qualify as a whole-grain. You basically have only several choices to choose from: whole-wheat bread, brown rice, old fashion rolled oats, flaxseed meal and whole-grain flour.
Choosing Whole Grains
Ideally whole-wheat bread should be sugar free and contain no high fructose corn syrup. Oats can be used for hot oatmeal as well as flour in baked goods even though the rolled oats have not been ground into powder. Flaxseed meal can be used just like any other type of flour for making baked goods. And, if you look around some, you usually can buy several different types of brown rice and some other exotic grains that can be cooked just as if they were brown rice. If brown rice is not available from your grocery store a close second, would be parboiled rice. The practice of parboiling rice is more than two thousand years old and started in India. Parboiling is a steaming process that drives nutrients, especially thiamine, from the bran into the grain. Of course, brown rice is still the preferred choice.
Common Varieties of Whole-Grains
Even products targeted at the health food market are usually made only with enriched wheat, rather than with whole-grain flour. Enriched wheat offers no health benefits. Looks are usually deceiving. Dark brown and black baked goods are usually the result of food coloring rather than an indication that they were made with whole-grain flour.
Hence, eating a variety of baked goods made from only whole-grains, beyond whole-wheat bread like whole-wheat pasta or whole-wheat bran muffins, usually requires that you personally bake your own bake goods out of homemade dough made from whole-grain flour.
Much misinformation exists on the topic of whole-grains. Beware of people who complain about gluten. They are only talking about people who are suffering from celiac disease. Only about one out every 100 people are sensitive to gluten. No matter how many health benefits are listed for eating whole-grains there will always be a certain diehard group of people (i.e., the paleolithic diet, Low-Carb diets, and Diabetics) who will simply not believe it. This Web page will, accordingly, refer everyone to 35 different full text research studies listed below that are available online for free in their entirety. Everyone can read for themselves and can accordingly make up their own minds as to what these studies actually have found to be true.
For a good introduction to whole-grains, you should start by reading this Editorial.
- Anderson JW, Hanna TJ. Whole grains and protection against coronary heart disease: what are the active components and mechanisms? Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Sep;70(3):307-8. PMID: 10479191 [Online]
- Jacobs DR Jr, Steffen LM. Wheat bran, whole grain, and food synergy. Diabetes Care. 2002 Sep;25(9):1652-3. Review. PMID: 12196443 [Online]
- J. W Anderson. EDITORIAL: Whole grains and coronary heart disease: the whole kernel of truth. Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, December 1, 2004; 80(6): 1459 - 1460. [Online]
- Tovey FI, Hobsley M. Milling of wheat, maize and rice: effects on fibre and lipid content and health. World J Gastroenterol. 2004 Jun 15;10(12):1695-6. Review. PMID: 15188488 [Online]
- General Topics
- Slavin JL, Martini MC, Jacobs DR Jr. Plausible mechanisms for the protectiveness of whole grains. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Sep;70(3 Suppl):459S-463S. Review. PMID: 10479218 [Online]
- Kushi LH, Meyer KA, Jacobs DR Jr. Cereals, legumes, and chronic disease risk reduction: evidence from epidemiologic studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Sep;70(3 Suppl):451S-458S. Review. PMID: 10479217 [Online]
- Cleveland LE, Moshfegh AJ, Albertson AM. Dietary intake of whole grains. J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Jun;19(3 Suppl):331S-338S. PMID: 10875606 [Online]
- Miller HE, Rigelhof F, Marquart L. Antioxidant content of whole grain breakfast cereals, fruits and vegetables. J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Jun;19(3 Suppl):312S-319S. PMID: 10875603 [Online]
- Jacobs DR Jr, Steffen LM. Nutrients, foods, and dietary patterns as exposures in research: a framework for food synergy. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Sep;78(3 Suppl):508S-513S. Review. PMID: 12936941 [Online]
of heart disease
- Wolk A, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, et al. Long-term intake of dietary fiber and decreased risk of coronary heart disease among women. JAMA 1999;281:1998–2004.[Online]
- Liu S, Stampfer MJ, Hu FB, et al. Whole-grain consumption and risk of coronary heart disease: results from the Nurses' Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70:412–9.[Online]
- Anderson JW, Hanna TJ, Peng X, Kryscio RJ. Whole grain foods and heart disease risk. J Am Coll Nutr 2000;19:291S–9S.[Online]
- Jacobs DR Jr, Pereira MA, Stumpf K. Whole grain food intake elevates serum enterolactone. Br J Nutr. 2002 Aug;88(2):111-6. PMID: 12144714
- Mozaffarian D, Kumanyika S, Lemaitre R. Cereal, fruit, and vegetable fiber intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease in elderly individuals JAMA 2003;289:1659–66.[Online]
- Jensen MK, Koh-Banerjee P, Hu FB. Intakes of whole grains, bran, and germ and the risk of coronary heart disease in men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80(6):1492–9. [Online]
- Jacobs DR, Pereira MA, Meyer KA. Fiber from whole grains, but not refined grains, is inversely associated with all-cause mortality in older women: the Iowa Women's Health Study. J Am Coll Nutr 2000;19:326S–30S.[Online]
- Liu S, Sesso HD, Manson JE, Willett WC, Buring JE. Is intake of breakfast cereals related to total and cause-specific mortality in men? Am J Clin Nutr 2003;77:594–9.[Online]
- Steffen LM, Jacobs DR Jr, Stevens J. Associations of whole-grain, refined-grain, and fruit and vegetable consumption with risks of all-cause mortality and incident coronary artery disease and ischemic stroke: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2003;78:383–90.[Online]
of type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Augustin LS, et al. Effect of wheat bran on glycemic control and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2002;25:1522–8.[Online]
- Fung TT, Hu FB, Pereira MA, et al. Whole-grain intake and the risk of type 2 diabetes: a prospective study in men. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:535–40.[Online]
- Montonen J, Knekt P, Jarvinen R. Whole-grain and fiber intake and the incidence of type 2 diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr 2003;77:622–9.[Online]
- Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A.. Type 2 diabetes and the vegetarian diet. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Sep;78(3 Suppl):610S-616S. Review. PMID: 12936955 [Online]
- Hallfrisch J, Facn, Behall KM. Mechanisms of the effects of grains on insulin and glucose responses. J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Jun;19(3 Suppl):320S-325S. Review.PMID: 10875604 [Online]
- Pereira MA, Jacobs DR Jr, Pins JJ, et al. Effect of whole grains on insulin sensitivity in overweight hyperinsulinemic adults. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;75:848–55.[Online]
- Juntunen KS, Laaksonen DE, Poutanen KS. High-fiber rye bread and insulin secretion and sensitivity in healthy postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 2003;77:385–91.[Online]
- Liese AD, Roach AK, Sparks KC. Whole–grain intake and insulin sensitivity: the Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2003;78:965–71.[Online]
- Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Vuksan V, et al. Effect of wheat bran on serum lipids: influence of particle size and wheat protein. J Am Coll Nutr 1999;18:159–65.[Online]
- Davy BM, Davy KP, Ho RC. High-fiber oat cereal compared with wheat cereal consumption favorably alters LDL-cholesterol subclass and particle numbers in middle–aged and older men. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:351–8.[Online]
- Leinonen KS, Poutanen KS, Mykkanen HM. Rye bread decreases serum total and LDL cholesterol in men with moderately elevated serum cholesterol. J Nutr 2000;130:164–70.
- Behall KM, Scholfield DJ, Hallfrisch J. Diets containing barley significantly reduce lipids in mildly hypercholesterolemic men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Nov;80(5):1185–93. PMID: 15531664 [Online]
- Liu S, Willett WC, Manson JE. Relation between changes in intakes of dietary fiber and grain products and changes in weight and development of obesity among middle-aged women. Am J Clin Nutr 2003;78:920–7.[Online]
- McIntosh GH, Noakes M, Royle PJ. Whole-grain rye and wheat foods and markers of bowel health in overweight middle-aged men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Apr;77(4):967–74. PMID: 12663299 [Online]
- Stanton RA. Nutrition problems in an obesogenic environment. Med J Aust. 2006 Jan 16;184(2):76–9. Review. PMID: 16411873 [Online]
- Development of cancer