Whole Grain Is Better at All Ages

Grow old with whole grain
© University of Maryland

Professor Nadine Sahyoun’s team at the University of Maryland looked at how eating whole grain foods affects the metabolic syndrome of older adults. Metabolic syndrome is a condition characterised by disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism, central obesity and hypertension. By looking at 3-day food diaries of more than 500 people aged 60 and older, Sahyoun’s group found those who consumed more whole grains were at significantly lower risk of having metabolic syndrome.

“There have been studies that show the benefits for a middle-aged population,” said Sahyoun, assistant professor in Maryland’s department of nutrition and food science. “Ours is the first study that shows the relationship between eating whole grains and the health benefits for older people, whose metabolic characteristics are different from younger adults.”

Metabolic syndrome, which is linked to increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, is increasing in the United States. It is estimated that 40 percent of men and 51 percent of women over 60 are affected with metabolic syndrome.

In a group whose average age was 72 for men and 73 for women, the study found that subjects who daily consumed about three servings of whole grain, such as whole grain bread, cereal and brown rice, had a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome than people who ate less than one serving a day.

MEDICA.de; Source: University of Maryland, College Park