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Help Your Heart: Eat Whole Grain Foods

In today's fast-paced world we order pizza on the cellphone, whisk through the fast-food drive-through for burgers and fries, and microwave just about anything we can get our hands on. But how many of us take the time to eat enough whole grain foods?

Whole grains are exactly that: foods that contain the entire kernel or grain  oatmeal, popcorn, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, rye bread, puffed rice cakes...

the list goes on and on. Familiarizing yourself with this list is important, and making sure that you include whole grains in your daily diet is even more important.

Here's why: A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed more than 75,000 women for 10 years as part of the Nurses Health Study. During that time, the researchers administered food-frequency questionnaires at two-year intervals, and documented all cases of coronary heart disease (CHD) as they occurred.

Results showed that women who consumed higher amounts of whole grains had a decreased risk of developing CHD compared with women who consumed lower amounts. Interestingly enough, this reduced risk could not be explained by the contribution of any of the nutritional elements of whole grain foods (dietary fiber, vitamin E, vitamin B-6, etc.), suggesting that this protective effect may be attributed to whole grain intake in general, rather than any specific aspect of whole grains.

Reference:

Liu S, Stampfer MJ, Hu FB, et al. Whole-grain consumption and risk of coronary artery disease: results from the Nurses' Health Study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1999: Vol. 70, pp412-419.

For additional information on women's health, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/find/tellmeabout/women.html


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