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Whole grain diets lower risk of chronic disease
Date:2/5/2008

Diets with high amounts of whole grains may help achieve significant weight loss, and also reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to a team of Penn State researchers at University Park and the College of Medicine.

"Consumption of whole grains has been associated with a lower body weight and lower blood pressure," said co-author Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State. "We thought that incorporating whole grains into a heart-healthy weight loss diet may provide the same benefits to people at risk from chronic diseases."

The researchers recruited 50 obese adults 25 male and 25 female between ages 20 to 65 and known to have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

They were randomly assigned to either a group that received instructions to have all of their grain servings from whole grains or all of their grain servings from refined grains.

"We asked participants in the whole grain group to focus on foods that had whole grains as the first ingredient," said lead author Heather Katcher, a Penn State Ph.D. recipient and currently a dietetic intern at Tulane University.

Over the 12-week study period, all participants received the same dietary advice on weight loss, and encouragement to participate in moderate physical activity. Researchers also asked participants to consume five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, three servings of low-fat dairy products, and two servings of lean meat, fish or poultry.

The study's findings are published in the January 2008 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Results from the study showed that waist circumference and body weight decreased significantly in both groups between 8-11 pounds on average but weight loss in the abdominal region was significantly greater in the whole grain group.

According
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Contact: Amitabh Avasthi
axa47@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert  

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