Eating whole grains instead of refined grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases. While benefits are most noticeable for those consuming at least 3 servings daily, some studies show reduced risks from as little as one serving daily. To sum it up: every whole grain in your diet helps!
Barley, oatmeal and brown rice have lots of soluble fiber, which has been proven to lower LDL cholesterol by reducing the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Try switching out your regular pasta for the whole-grain version, or use brown rice instead of white. To give an added cholesterol-busting kick, top your morning oatmeal with high-fiber fruit like bananas or apples.
Close up on the main benefits of whole grains:
• stroke risk reduced 30-36%
• type 2 diabetes risk reduced 21-30%
• heart disease risk reduced 25-28%
• better weight maintenance
• reduced risk of asthma
• healthier carotid arteries
• reduction of inflammatory disease risk
• lower risk of colorectal cancer
• healthier blood pressure levels
• less gum disease and tooth loss