Whole-Grain Diets May Decrease Blood Pressure

Whole-Grain Diets May Decrease Blood Pressure

Grains come in many shapes and sizes, from large kernels of popcorn to small quinoa seeds. Also called cereals, grains are the widely varied seeds of grasses, which are cultivated for food.


All types of grains are good sources of complex carbohydrates, various vitamins and minerals and are naturally low in fat. But grains that haven't been refined — called whole grains — are even better for you. Whole grains are better sources of fiber and other important nutrients, such as selenium, potassium and magnesium.

Grains are the seeds of plants. When whole, they include the bran, germ and endosperm — all of which contain valuable nutrients.

Diets with increases whole-grain foods, high in soluble or insoluble fiber, are associated with a reduction in blood pressure in individuals with slightly elevated cholesterol, according to researchers in Maryland.

Dr. Kay M. Behall and colleagues from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, examined the effects on blood pressure of whole-grain diets containing insoluble fiber (whole wheat and brown rice) and soluble fiber (barley).

Seven men, nine premenopausal women, and nine postmenopausal women, all with mildly high cholesterol, were put on the controlled Step I American Heart Association diet for 2 weeks.

After that, refined carbohydrates in the Step I diet were replaced with whole-grain foods. Two types of whole-grain diets -- whole wheat/brown rice, barley, or half wheat-rice/half barley) were each consumed for 5 weeks.

Blood pressure was measured weekly and weight was measured daily before breakfast. Results of the study are published in the September issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Blood pressure decreased significantly during the all whole-grain diets. Systolic blood pressure, the top reading, declined by 2.2 mm Hg when the subjects consumed the Step I diet and declined by an additional 1.4 to 6.7 mm Hg while subjects consumed the whole-grain diets, Dr. Behall's team reports.

Diastolic blood pressure, the lower reading, declined by 2 mm Hg on the Step I diet and was reduced an additional 2.9 to 3.7 mm Hg when whole-grains were added.

Among the men, the greatest reduction in arterial pressure was observed during the half-and-half diet, while the greatest reduction in arterial pressure for women occurred during the diet with barley. Postmenopausal women were the least responsive.

Subjects lost about 1 kg during the course of the study, a significant difference. Compared to the Step I diet, calorie levels were significantly higher during all whole-grain diets.

"Increasing whole-grain foods, whether high in soluble or insoluble fiber, can reduce blood pressure and may help control weight," the researchers conclude.

So,Add more grains to your meals and snacks using these ideas:

Whole grains have historically been considered the staff of life, as they form the basis for many healthy meals and snacks. Eating a variety of whole grains not only ensures that you get more nutrients, but also helps make your meals and snacks more interesting.

You may also be interested in . . .

Comments

Post new comment

Similar

Vegan Diet Secrets: Becoming a Vegetarian

Vegan Diet Secrets: Becoming a Vegetarian A lot of vegans do not even know why they wanted to become vegans in the first place. Why are you a vegan? If you cannot answer this question in depth, then there's really no reason to follow a vegan

Delayed Brain Development for Children with Iron Deficiency

Delayed Brain Development for Children with Iron Deficiency Kids require different amounts of iron at various ages and stages.Iron is a nutrient that's an essential part of child's regular diet and is needed to make hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component

Low Glycemic Index Diet for Woman

Low Glycemic Index Diet for Woman The glycemic index of a food is the measure of how quickly blood sugar (glucose) rises after meals. In general, low-fiber foods containing simple starches, for example candy, have a higher glycemic

Vitamin E may Help Prevent Death from Cancer and Heart Disease in Middle-Aged Men Even Who Smoke

Vitamin E may Help Prevent Death from Cancer and Heart Disease in Middle-Aged Me Antioxidants such as vitamin E act to protect cells against the effects of free radicals, which are potentially damaging by-products of the body's metabolism. Free radicals can cause cell damage that

Why Would you Avoid harmful Trans Fat ? Should it be Banned Nationwide ?

Why Would you Avoid harmful Trans Fat ? Should it be Banned Nationwide ? Unlike other fats, trans fats are neither required nor beneficial for health. Eating trans fat increases the risk of coronary heart disease. For these reasons, health authorities worldwide recommend

Protein Supplements to Improve Health

Protein Supplements to Improve Health Protein Supplements to Improve Health Most of us find their source for protein by eating foods like eggs, cheese, milk, yogurt, vegetables, and meat. The recommended daily value is about 50g of

Fatigue for Cancer Chemotherapy ? Take L-Carnitine as Nutritional Supplement

Fatigue for Cancer Chemotherapy ? Take L-Carnitine as Nutritional Supplement Chemotherapy works by killing rapidly dividing cells. These cells include cancer cells, which continuously divide to form more cells, and healthy cells that divide quickly, such as those in your bone