Eating whole grain foods can cut your risk of premature death by 9 percent and eating a small bowl of oatmeal may be the secret to a longer life, according to Harvard University researchers.
Researchers reviewed two large studies that followed more than 100,000 people who were periodically quizzed about what they ate and how they lived for more than 14 years. I found that the people who ate at least 33 grams of whole grains daily, equivalent to a bowl of oatmeal, cut their risk of premature death by 9 percent compared to those who barely ate whole grains at all. The risk of dying from heart disease was found to be slashed by 15 percent, though eating whole grains did not seem to lower the risk of dying from cancer.
Study author Prof. Qi Sun said, "Whole grains may protect the heart by lowering blood sugar and insulin levels and this type of property could improve insulin resistance to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Weight loss and other healthy nutrients may add to the health benefits of whole grains. The studies may not have yielded enough information about cancer to draw any conclusions. However, previous studies have demonstrated a lower risk of colorectal cancers with high consumption of foods made from grains where the germ and bran have been left intact."
The study has been published in JAMA Internal Medicine.