Evaluated: Even small amounts of whole grain make us healthier

Evaluated: Even small amounts of whole grain make us healthier

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Whole grains are good for your health - this is well known and has been well documented by a large number of studies. A study from the British Medical Journal now showed that even small amounts have a positive effect.

An international team of scientists evaluated 45 studies on whole grain consumption and various diseases. More than 7,000 cases of coronary heart disease, 2,000 strokes, 26,000 cases of cardiovascular diseases among 700,000 patients were included in the analysis.

Earlier studies had already confirmed that high whole grain consumption counteracts type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and obesity. The current study expands knowledge: 90 g of whole grains daily could increase the risk of coronary heart disease (19%), cardiovascular disease (22%), mortality (17%), death from stroke (14%), cancer (15% ), Respiratory diseases (22%), infectious diseases (26%) and diabetes (51%). 90 g corresponds to three servings of whole grain, for example two slices of bread and a bowl of breakfast cereals.

The positive effect could be increased in most diseases up to a daily intake of 210 to 225 g of whole grain products. This corresponds to more than seven servings. The greatest benefit came from people who increased their consumption from none to two servings daily. The reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases was associated with the intake of whole grain bread and whole grain breakfast cereals, but also with the total consumption of bread and cereal flakes.

However, the scientists also point out that the biological mechanisms behind the positive effect of whole grain consumption are complex and have not yet been fully clarified.

Few people eat three or more servings of whole grains a day. Denmark is a positive example: Targeted campaigns and the expansion of the range have doubled whole grain consumption in the population over the past ten years.

"It is very easy to increase whole grain consumption in everyday life by replacing bread, pasta and rice with the whole grain variant," explains Harald Seitz, nutritionist from aid infodienst in Bonn. "Ask the baker how much whole wheat flour is actually contained in bread and rolls." Whole wheat bread is made from at least 90 percent whole rye and whole grain products. "Just because the bread roll is a little darker and has a few grains on it, it is far from being a whole grain bread roll," Seitz says. (Heike Kreutz, aid)

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