Green light for bread, pasta, rice and breakfast cereals, but if they are wholegrain! In fact, those who consume more portions of bread, pasta and whole grains show a lower increase in waistline, body weight and other parameters important for health and for evaluating cardiovascular risk, such as blood pressure and blood sugar. This is what emerges from a recent scientific research published in The Journal of Nutrition by a team from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston (Sawicki et al, JN, 2021).
Whole grains and health, the study
Researchers analyzed health, diet and lifestyle data of over 3,000 people, all participants in the large Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort that began in the 1970s with the aim of studying, in the long-term, the most important cardiovascular risk factors. In this way it was possible to trace the number of portions of whole grains consumed and link them to the evolution of the state of health over the years. For the purposes of the study, the researchers considered a slice of whole grain bread, half a cup of brown rice, or a cup of breakfast cereal as a serving of whole grains.
Less visceral fat with whole grains
What emerged is that, over the years, those who had consumed at least three servings of whole grains a day had a smaller increase in waistline than those who consumed less whole grains. Not only that, those who consumed at least three servings of whole grains a day had a lower increase in blood sugar and blood pressure.
Whole grains and cardiovascular risk, conclusions
Therefore, what emerged is that for those who have the habit of integrating at least three servings of whole grains per day into their diet, whether these are bread, pasta, rice or breakfast cereals, not only it is easier to maintain body weight without gaining weight, but it is also helpful to preserve blood pressure and glycaemia values over time, with beneficial effects on the heart.