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By Kiersten Willis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren for Hometown Hall #foodie-all

Oprah Winfrey’s adoration of bread was turned into a meme a few years ago, but for those who share the media mogul’s sentiments, it’s best to consume the staple food in moderation.

A new study reveals that consuming refined grains, such as croissants and white bread, is tied to higher rates of heart disease. Heightened risk of stroke and death was also tied to eating the significantly modified products, according to a news release.

A 16-year clinical trial, the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study has been reviewing diets from a variety of populations in 21 countries that range from low to high income. More than 130,000 participants were analyzed for the impact of health determinants at different levels. For the new study, researchers used PURE to discover a connection to consuming refined grains, whole grains and white rice with cardiovascular disease, total mortality, blood lipids and blood pressure.

The findings were published in the The British Medical Journal.

Study results showed that over the years, consumption of refined grains and added sugars have considerably grown. Premature death risk grew 27% when eating more than seven servings of refined grains daily. Similarly, a 33% greater risk of heart disease and 47% greater risk of stroke was tied to consuming the product in the same way.

“This study re-affirms previous work indicating a healthy diet includes limiting overly processed and refined foods,” Scott Lear, Pfizer/Heart & Stroke Foundation chair in cardiovascular rrevention research and health sciences professor said in a statement.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health says that whole grains are a better option than refined grains. The former provides full nutritional value while refined grains are emptied of their health benefits during their processing.

Reccomendations outlined in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that on a 2,000 calorie diet, people should aim to consume 3 or more ounces of whole grains a day and less than 3 ounces of refined grains daily.

Examples of unprocessed whole grains include brown rice, wild rice, oats, corn and quinoa.


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