Refined grains increase the risk of premature death, according to a recent study. The regular consumption of white flour products from refined grains is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Consumers also placed themselves at risk of premature death, notify the scientists.
An international research unit analyzed nutritional data from almost 150,000 participants from 21 countries. For each person, stored the preferred diet and state of health for an average period of 9.5 years. The evaluation of this data was recently presented in the renowned specialist journal “The BMJ”.
Wheat flour products increased the risk of heart disease.
Those who eat many wheat flour products such as toasted bread seem to increase their risk of cardiovascular disease and, thus, premature death. This association was shown in the so-called PURE study (Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology). The absorption of refined grains, whole grains and white rice, and the participants’ health, including cardiovascular conditions, overall mortality, blood lipid values and blood pressure, were examined.
More cardiovascular effects from white flour consumption
According to the evaluation, people who ate higher than 350 grams of white flour commodities per day had a 27 per cent higher risk of premature death from critical cardiovascular events like heart attacks than those who consumed less than 50 grams of refined grains day. Higher consumption of refined grains was also consistently correlated with higher systolic blood pressure.
All clear for white rice
Although white rice is also a refined grain, the researchers did not find any increased risk here. Even in the gathering with the most significant intake of more than 450 grams per day, there was no increased risk of premature mortality or cardiovascular events.
Whole grain instead of white flour
The researchers conclude that regular consumption of refined grains, but not white rice consumption, increases the risk of mortality and severe cardiovascular disease. They suggest replacing white flour goods with whole grains.
No investigation into the cause
The study only showed a connection but did not investigate the underlying causes of the relationship. For this reason, the analysis only provides clues, but no definitive causality. However, there are good possible reasons for this connection.
Difference between whole grain and white flour
Around 50 per cent of the daily calories consumed worldwide come from grain products. Far too often, these foods are made from refined grains. But what does that imply and why is white flour more unhealthy than whole grain?
A grain consists of the three elements shell, seedling and endosperm. In white flour products, only the starchy endosperm of the grain is used. The cover and the seedling are removed. However, these two elements contain most of the nutrients. The grain shell is rich in minerals, fibre and vitamins, and the seedling contains healthy fats, proteins, and vitamins.
Whole grains are more nutritious.
In whole-grain products, the whole grain is processed, which makes the products more nutritious. They’re richer in protein, fibre, B vitamins, and many other nutrients that can help lower blood pressure, reduce gum disease, strengthen the immune system, and help manage weight.
White flour causes blood sugar to skyrocket.
White flour products mainly contain simple carbohydrates and are very starchy. After consumption, blood sugar rises rapidly and leads to high concentrations of glucose in the blood. Viewed over a longer period, these blood sugar fluctuations can lead to weight gain and, in the worst case, diabetes.