All of your body’s systems are interconnected. That’s why Neuliven Health has supplements to support blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. But we rarely hear news that could fit into any one of our blogs just as easily as the others. However, new research has linked eating three servings of whole grains a day to a lower risk for heart disease, smaller waist, better blood pressure and more stable blood sugar when compared to eating less than half a serving.
Researchers wanted to look at how eating different carbohydrates impacted five aspects of heart disease over time. They looked at people’s HDL, or “good,” cholesterol, triglyceride levels, blood sugar, blood pressure and waist circumference when they ate whole grains and refined grains. The information came from 3,100 people, and their diet was tracked for an average of 18 years. They found that people who ate more refined grains had larger increases in their waist sizes over the years and worse blood sugar and blood pressure readings.
“Our findings suggest that eating whole-grain foods as part of a healthy diet delivers health benefits beyond just helping us lose or maintain weight as we age. In fact, these data suggest that people who eat more whole grains are better able to maintain their blood sugar and blood pressure over time. Managing these risk factors as we age may help to protect against heart disease,” said Nicola McKeown of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts Univ. (USDA HNRCA).
“There are several reasons that whole grains may work to help people maintain waist size and reduce increases in the other risk factors,” said Caleigh Sawicki of the USDA HNRCA. “The presence of dietary fiber in whole grains can have a satiating effect, and the magnesium, potassium and antioxidants may contribute to lowering blood pressure. Soluble fiber in particular may have a beneficial effect on post-meal blood sugar spikes.”
If you have blood sugar concerns, you often avoid carbohydrates, and three servings of grains may sound like a lot. Everyone’s bodies are different. But most of us balk at the idea of eating three servings of grains because we think of refined grains. Eating whole grains like brown rice, whole grain bread and homemade popcorn that contain the bran, germ and endosperm of the grain is different. With fiber and protein, they don’t impact blood sugar the same way. While you should be cautious about changing your diet, it is worth talking to your doctor about what a healthy diet means for you. This research shows that a healthy diet means including many types of foods and that consistency matters, so talk to your doctor now and stick to a healthy plan that is right for you.