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Whole Grains Can Help You Live Longer

By Debra Rodzinak 

Recently, there has been a big push for a carb-free lifestyle, which includes giving up my favorite food, bread.  This is why I was so excited to learn that recently, two studies have been released that conclude eating whole grain can help people live longer.  For groups of people around the world who have a longer life expectancy than others, whole grains are a key part of their diet.

The term “whole grain” refers to the kernel that is holding the grain.  Whole grains contain the “whole” or entire kernel.  Some examples of whole grains include brown rice, oatmeal, cracked wheat, and whole-wheat flour.

What the Studies Reveal

Eating a diet rich in whole grains reduces the risk of life shortening diseases.  The risk of developing cancer, heart disease, diabetes, lung diseases, and infectious diseases are all cut by eating whole grains.  An astounding revelation in a study published in Circulation, combined the results of 14 studies with more than 786,000 overall participants found that increasing whole grain consumption by 16 grams cut the risk of death by 7 percent.

What and How Much to Eat

A diet that is healthy should include about 65 percent beans, starchy tubers, and whole grains.  Oats, barley, ground corn, and brown rice are important foods to include in your diet.  The U.S. dietary guidelines suggest eating at least three servings daily.  This is equal to one slice of whole grain bread, half a cup of cooked rice, and one cup of whole grain cereal. 


Breakfast is a wonderful place to add whole grains to your daily diet.  Some great ideas for a simple breakfast, rich in whole grains, is whole-grain steel cut oatmeal.  Spice up the oatmeal with fresh or dried fruit, almonds, flax seed, or cinnamon.

Bread is OK to eat, but don’t go overboard.  An average person shouldn’t eat more than two slices of whole wheat bread in a day.  If you can find it, real sourdough bread is also a good, but be wary of store-bought sourdough.  Many times what is sold in stores is not traditional and has no added value to a diet.

Finally, as with all foods, moderation is key.  Check the labels, measure portions, and know how much of what types of food you should be eating.  This will not only help you be healthier overall, but it will also help you live longer. 

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.


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