Heart Health & Grains

Did you know that the World Health Organization states cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally?

Did you also know a 2015 study found that eating a healthy diet containing whole grains can reduce the risk of heart disease by one-third?

Whole grains aid in having, and keeping, a healthy heart due to their large composition of dietary fiber. Having high cholesterol levels is a major risk factor for developing heart disease, but the fiber from whole grains can help to decrease cholesterol levels in the body. Fiber from whole grains also have a satiating effect, meaning you feel fuller for longer, therefore reducing the likelihood of becoming overweight – another cardiovascular disease risk factor. Whole grains are even packed with key nutrients such as B-vitamins, iron, magnesium, and more that all contribute to a healthy heart.

One study found that eating a diet filled with whole grain foods not only helps manage weight, but it can also help maintain blood sugar and blood pressure over time, which can protect against heart disease.

The next time you are grocery shopping, check if the packaging for whole grain foods has a heart-health label. For food products to make a health claim, such as reducing the risk of heart disease or lowering cholesterol, they must meet certain criteria outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This ensures you can trust the foods you are consuming and know they are benefitting your heart health in the long run.  

Some basic whole grain products that can easily be incorporated into your diet are:

  • brown rice
  • whole grain pasta
  • oats
  • quinoa
  • corn
  • barley

Make sure to pick up one, or all, of these whole grains next time you are at the store to start your heart-health journey.