Eat More Whole Grains To Lessen Critical Illness Risk

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A new study urges older individuals to rating more whole-grain foods to reduce body fat and lessen the risk of costly health conditions and make health insurance more affordable.

The study looked at the eating habits of hundreds of men and women in their 60s. Overall, the participants consumed relatively low amounts of whole-grain foods, averaging 1.5 servings a day, and dietary fiber, averaging 18.6 grams a day.

According to health insurance professionals, the U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines recommend that older people consume three or more servings daily of whole-grain foods and 21 to 30 grams of dietary fiber a day.

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Among the study participants, bread and cold breakfast cereals were the main sources of whole grains. Women were more likely than men to consume whole grains, the researchers found.

After adjusting for factors such as levels of physical activity, the study findings noted that a higher intake of whole grains was associated with lower amounts of total body fat and abdominal fat. Obesity is a leading predictor of health conditions and a cause of nearly two million Americans having a heart attack or stroke according to the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance.

The study found that people who consumed the highest amounts of whole grains had about 2.4 percent less total body fat and 3.6 percent less abdominal fat than those who ate the least. This difference was found to be related to fiber in cereal, but not in fruits or vegetables. When only cereal fiber was taken into account, those who consumed the most had 3.2 percent less body fat and 5 percent less abdominal fat than those who ate the least amount of cereal fiber.

The findings appear in the October issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

Written by Jesse Slome from the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance
criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org
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