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Cereal fibre can help you live longer

Published on 27/03/2015

People who eat whole grains are more likely to live longer than those who eat little or no grains, a US study has suggested.

Some cereals contain a high level of whole grain

More than 110,000 American citizens aged between 50 and 71 years old were questioned about how often they ate certain foods, including whole-grain cereals, pasta and bread. The study was published in the journal BMC Medicine and conducted by a team from Harvard University.

The participants were split up into five categories depending on how much whole grain they ate as well as how much fibre they consumed from the grains. This type fibre is known as cereal fibre.

The group of people who ate the most whole grains were 17% less likely to die over a 14-year period when compared to people who at the least amount of whole grains. Persons who consumed the most cereal fibre were 19% less likely to die than participants who ate the least.

The research team who led the study said: “[The results] indicate that intake of whole grains and cereal fibre may reduce the risk of all-cause mortality and death from chronic diseases.”

The team investigated the effect of cereal fibre on different diseases throughout the study period. The report concluded that those who had a diet high in whole grains were half as likely to die from diabetes as those who ate the least amount of whole grains.

For those who ate the most whole grain there was a 17% reduced risk of death by cardiovascular disease, a 15% reduced risk of dying from cancer and an 11% reduced risk of fatality from respiratory disease.

Other factors were taken into account during the study such as physical activity, body mass index and drinking and smoking habits. However the study only recorded people’s habits at every two or four years, it’s possible their eating habits changed during the study period.

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