Oatmeal is considered a necessary evil. People know it’s good for them (albeit many don’t know why), but due to it’s blandness it tends to rank low on their personal list of favorite breakfast meals. Eating oatmeal with fruit, however, not only makes the breakfast staple more palatable, it may also be the secret to a longer life.
New research published in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) journal Circulation suggests eating at least three servings of whole grains daily could lower the risk of early death, which may prompt some people to get over their aversion to oatmeal.
Whole grain foods, such as whole wheat, oats, and brown rice, are considered healthy because they contain fiber, a substance that can help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
In addition to promoting the movement of waste through the digestive system, it also keeps food in the stomach longer, so people feel full and satisfied without consuming a lot of extra calories, according to the AHA. Dietary fiber also helps improve blood cholesterol levels, and lower the risk of stroke and obesity.
The researchers conducted a meta-analysis review of 12 studies. These included those published through to February 2016, as well as unpublished results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III, conducted rom 1988 to 1994. Combined, the studies involved more than 786,000 people.
The data showed that for every 16-gram serving of whole grains there was a 7 percent decreased risk in early death, a 9 percent decline in cardiovascular disease-related deaths, and a 5 percent decline in cancer-related deaths. What’s more, every additional serving of whole grains further lowered this risk.
Researchers found that three servings of whole grains was associated with a 20 percent reduced risk of all-cause death, 25 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular deaths, and 14 percent decline in cancer-related deaths.
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