Diet can positively or negatively influence the development and progression of chronic diseases. This is particularly the case for cereals (bread, dough, rye, barley, spelled, rice …), whether they are respectively complete / whole or conversely refined (white bread). A cereal is said to be complete when its fiber-rich husk (bran) and the germ containing nutrients and the seed body have been retained. She is refined when we remove the bran and the germ to keep only the body: poor in fiber, minerals and vitamins. The former are therefore more interesting from a nutritional and therefore health point of view, and a new study has just confirmed this.
The study published by the British Medical Journalreminds that cereals, such as oats, rice, barley and wheat, make up about 50% of the world’s daily calorie intake and up to 70% in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa and South Asia. ” The whole grains tend to be richer in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids than refined grains. Previous studies have shown that higher consumption is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease and deaths, but no clear association was found for refined grains, ”the researchers explain.
Stroke, heart attack … what impact on cardiovascular health?
To fill this evidence gap, researchers set out to assess the association between intake of refined grains, whole grain and white rice with cardiovascular disease and mortality in general. Their findings are based on data from 137,130 people aged 35 to 70 from 21 low-, middle- and high-income countries who had no history of heart disease and who were participating in urban and rural epidemiology research. (baptized PURE). They were particularly interested in white rice compared to other refined cereals, because more than 60% of the members of this cohort live in Asia, a continent where rice is one of the staple foods.
Detailed information on the education, economic status, lifestyle and medical history of the participants was collected at the start of the study and dietary questionnaires were used to assess lintake of refined grains, whole grain and white rice. Deaths from cardiovascular causes or serious cardiovascular events, including heart attack, stroke, and heart failure, were then followed for an average of 9.4 years. The researchers established that people in the highest category of consumption of refined grains consumed at least 350 g per day.
The importance of consuming whole grains
After taking into account other potentially influencing factors, they found that this highest category of refined grain consumption was associated with a 27% higher risk of death and an increased risk of death. risk of cardiovascular events serious 33% higher, compared to the weakest consumer category (less than 50 g per day). Higher intakes of refined grains were also associated with higher blood pressure, a measure of the pressure or force that blood exerts against the walls of your blood vessels called arteries. However, it is the most important risk factor for stroke and one of the main risk factors heart disease.
Since this study is observational in nature, the researchers do not establish a direct link. But with data from 21 countries on five continents, they believe they “were able to analyze large diet models, which means the results are likely to be robust and widely applicable to populations around the world. As such, they suggest that globally, lower consumption of refined grains should be encouraged while promoting higher consumption of whole grains. “Reducing the quantity and improving the quality of carbohydrates are essential for better health outcomes, ”they conclude.