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whole grains

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Eating Whole Grains Improve Cholesterol with Statins

Combining statins with whole grains in the diet yields significant benefits.

One in four adults over 40 years old are taking a statin medication to improve their cholesterol levels. Tufts University researchers studied almost 4300 adults over 45 years old and found non-HDL levels significantly lower in statin users, but those who consumed more than 16 grams of whole grains per day were even lower. This held true with adjustments for demographics and lifestyle factors.

PositiveTip: Do not rely only on a statin. Consume a healthy diet with plenty of whole grains to maximize the benefit.

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Whole Grains: Good for the Heart

Consuming whole-grains has a protective effect against CHD.

A meta-analysis involving almost 500,000 people found those who consumed the highest amounts of whole-grain experienced over 20% less coronary heart disease (CHD) when compared to those who consumed the lowest amount of whole-grain intake. 

PositiveTip: Choose your grains wisely as they do have a significant benefit on your heart health.

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Dietary Fiber Still Beneficial

Cardiovascular risk lowered by increasing dietary fiber intake.

A meta-analysis of 22 cohort studies mostly in Westernized countries reaffirmed dietary fiber's role in preventing cardiovascular disease. For each 7 grams a day of fiber (read food labels), the risk ratio dropped 0.9 points. Only insoluble fibers fibers contributed to this benefit.

PositiveTip: Consume wheat bran, brown rice, and other whole grains to lower your risk of heart disease.

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The Skinny on Whole Grains

"Whole grains" may not be whole!

A meta-analysis of studies conducted between 1965 and 2010 in humans strongly suggests that the consumption of foods rich in cereal fiber or mixtures of whole grains reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. However, the term "whole grain" may refer to any mixture of bran, endosperm and germ one would expect in an intact grain. These grains are often processed (refined) before being incorporated into foods and have lower fiber and nutrient levels.

PositiveTip: When looking for healthy grain products, make sure they are high in fiber, or are made from intact grains.

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Use Your Fork to Lower the Risk of Cancer

Choose to eat plenty of cancer fighting foods.

Have you ever wondered how you should eat to fight cancer? While no single food or component of food can guarantee you will not get cancer, evidence is strong that a diet composed of a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains may lower your risk for a good number of cancers. The American Institute of Cancer Research has a wonderful online resource with the most up-to-date evidence available.

PositiveTip: Educate yourself today on how you can eat to lower your risk of cancer.

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Diet, Exercise, and Weight Are Major Contributors to Health

Lifestyle may reduce risk of early death by 42%.

The Cancer Prevention Study ll Nutrition Cohort shows that  people who maintain a BMI within normal range, exercise 30 or more minutes daily, and eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains exhibit reduced deaths from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause mortality. For those who met the criteria above, this study shows reductions of 48%, 30%, and 42% for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause mortality in men. For women, the numbers are 58%, 24%, and 42%, respectively.

PositiveTip:  Diet, exercise, and maintaining a normal weight significantly reduce the risk of disease and premature death.


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Not All Dietary Fibers are Equal

Dietary fiber from whole grains lowers colorectal cancer risk.

A meta-analysis of 25 studies that involved almost 2 million people revealed that fiber from whole grains reduced the risk of colorectal cancer by 21% compared with fiber from fruits, vegetables, or legumes. Higher intakes showed greater risk reduction. Dietary fiber shortens stool transit times, increases stool bulk, and probably dilutes gut carcinogens, thereby lowering risk.

PositiveTip: Lower your risk of colorectal cancer by eating whole grains every day.

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Potato Chips and Sugary Beverages are Culprits in Weight Gain

Eating one more serving of fruit, vegetables and nuts contributes to 1.25 pounds lost every 4 years.

What foods are most strongly associated with weight gain? Is it really any surprise that in a 20 year study of more 120,000 participants, potato chips and sugar-sweetened beverages contributed 1.28 pounds and 1.00 pound of weight gain every four years? Yogurt, nuts, fruits, whole grains and vegetables were associated with significant weight loss over the same period of time. All of these items are per serving added per day to the diet.

PositiveTip: Which direction is your scale going? Remember, consistently skipping the tempting bag of potato chips and or a cold sugar-sweetened beverage can tip the scale downward.

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Health Benefits Associated with Whole Grains

Whole grain cereal foods lowers the risk of chronic disease and helps weight control.

There is consistent scientific evidence that whole grain foods substantially lower the risk of CHD, diabetes, and cancer and help in weight management and digestive health. Working together macro- and micronutrients and phytonutrients present in whole grains contribute to their beneficial effects.

PositiveTip: Regularly incorporate 3-4 whole grain foods into your diet every day.

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Plant-based Diet Helps Women Being Treated for Infertility

Mediterranean-type diet improves odds of pregnancy.

Women being treated for infertility are 1.4 times more likely to become pregnant if they consume a diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and some fish. Dutch researchers also found these women had a low intake of snacks, meats, and mayonnaise.

More research is needed to determine whether it was fish or plant-based foods that gave the benefit.

PositiveTip: Women desiring to become pregnant may benefit from a healthy diet.