The English proverb “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” sums up the importance of healthy eating, but, are we aware that our food makes the difference between life and death?
A study by the Harvard School of Public Health reveals that consumption of whole grains could reduce the risk of mortality by up to 9%, and this is not a minor fact. Previous studies only associated their consumption with decreasing risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but Harvard researchers found that for every serving of whole grains ingested, the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease declines by 5 to 9% .
To reach this conclusion, data from over 70,000 women and 40,000 men were examined in collaboration with Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, National University of Singapore and Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Boston.
At the time of starting the study, men and women were free of cardiovascular disease and cancer, they answered questionnaires about their diet every two or four years between 1985 and 2010, and adjustments were made to factors such as age, body mass index, Physical activity and whether they were smokers.Finally, the data obtained on the consumption of whole grains were compared with mortality over 25 years.
The research also showed that the consumption of bran is related to reducing the risk of death by up to 6% and reducing the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 20%. So, changing a portion of red meat for a portion of whole grains could reduce the risk of dying from a cardiovascular complication by up to 20%.
“This study supports current guidelines that promote the consumption of whole grains as a way to prevent chronic diseases,” said Qi Sun, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and author of research sponsored by the National Institute of Health and its division, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.