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Heart Watch Blog: Eating Whole Grains To Decrease Heart Risk

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Jan 11, 2006

Eating Whole Grains To Decrease Heart Risk

Eating Whole Grains To Decrease Heart Risk
Elderly adults may derive heart benefit from eating whole grains like high-fiber cereals and cooked oatmeal as per findings from a new study. Researchers from University of Maryland in College Park evaluated 535 adults between 60 and 98 years of age and have found that, those who ate more whole-grain foods were less likely to develop a group of risk factors known as metabolic syndrome or to die of cardiovascular disease over the next 12 to 15 years.

Researchers say that the benefits of such whole grain cereals may not be limited to just elderly people and suggested that young and old alike should follow experts' advice to bump up their whole-grain intake to at least three servings a day.

The term metabolic syndrome refers to a group of conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar levels, and abdominal obesity, which raise a person's risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney damage.

Previous research has suggested that middle-age adults can lower their risk of metabolic syndrome by favoring whole grains such as bran, oats and brown rice over highly processed grain products like white bread.

It to be noted that until now, no studies had looked specifically at an elderly population and this study represents the first attempt in this direction. Researchers say that the effects of diet on metabolic risk factors may be even more evident in older adults, because with aging comes a greater susceptibility to abnormal blood sugar control.

The elderly patients who participated in this study were required to undergo a physical exam, complete a 3-day food diary to track their eating habits, and provide information on other lifestyle habits such as exercise, smoking and drinking.

The researchers have found that men and women with the highest whole-grain intake, which is typically three servings a day, were less than half as likely to have metabolic syndrome as their peers who consumed less than one serving of whole grains per day.

The researchers also fond that these whole-grain eaters were about half as likely to die from cardiovascular disease over the next 12 to 15 years.


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Heart disease
About 13 million Americans (about 7 percent of the total population) suffer from coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in American men and women amounting a staggering 20 percent of all causes of death. About half of all deaths related to cardiovascular diseases occur from coronary artery disease. Through this heart watch blog we will have our humble contribution towards making men and women aware of the risks of heart diseases.

Heart Watch Blog: Eating Whole Grains To Decrease Heart Risk

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