Heart Foundation: Latest cardio research favours grains instead of Paleo diet

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 15th June 2016

WholegrainNew research has found benefit in eating wholegrains for those who want a healthy heart.

Published in the latest edition of the American Heart Association journal, ‘Circulation’, the research revealed the higher an individual’s wholegrain intake is, the lower their risk of death from heart disease.

Findings were concluded after reviewing 14 studies including more than 780, 000 participants.

Australian Heart Foundation spokesperson for Nutrition, Beth Thomas, said the findings supports the Heart Foundation’s recommendation to choose wholegrain.

“In the findings, high vs low intake consistently linked to better health outcomes with a 28 per cent reduction in cardiovascular disease mortality,” Thomas said.

Findings do not support Paleo diet

Thomas said the study clearly demonstrates diets which restrict wholegrains, like the Paleo diet, are not recommended.

“The way in which wholegrains appears to improve health include reducing blood glucose levels and blood cholesterol levels (total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol), lowering body fat percentage and increasing intake of minerals, antioxidants and fibre,” she said.

What are wholegrains?

  • The term `grains’ usually refers to wheat, corn (maize), rice, barley, oats, rye, millet, quinoa, teff and similar foods. These grains can be eaten whole, processed into products like couscous (wheat) and polenta (corn), or used to make grain foods like bread, breakfast cereals, pasta, and noodles.
  • Wholegrains are grains which a whole – with the grain or flour containing the three parts of a grain (endosperm, germ and bran).

Heart Foundation tips for including wholegrains:

  • Variety is the key to healthy eating. When planning your meals for the week, make sure you include a variety of foods. If you have pasta one night, go for brown rice, couscous or quinoa another night.
  • Watch your portion size. Rice and pasta can be easy to over-serve. At your main meal keep to ½ to 1 cup (cooked) and instead load up on vegetables.
  • Try a wholegrain or high fibre breakfast cereal like rolled oats, porridge, whole wheat biscuits or untoasted muesli.
  • Swap white bread for wholemeal or wholegrain. Look for the words ‘wholegrain’ or ‘wholemeal’ on the label.