Eating a heart-healthy diet means that you need to incorporate whole grains, like rice and breads. One study showed that whole grains and your heart health are directly correlated.
Whole Grains vs. Refined Grains
Whole grains are as they say they are–whole grains. The bran, germ, and endosperm part of the grain are still attached. These are filled with vitamins, minerals, and protein.
Refined grains are grains like white rice that have one or more of the basic parts of the grain removed. With these parts removed, the number of nutrients is significantly reduced.
Whole Grains and Your Heart
Adults who averaged in the age of 39 years old, did not have any type of cardiovascular disease and were overweight or obese participated in the study.
For eight weeks, the researchers gave the participants specific snacks, drinks, and meals. Their meals contained about 100 grams whole-grain rice and wheat each day.
A few months later, the researchers gave the volunteers the exact same meal plan for eight weeks, except they substituted whole grains for refined rice and wheat.
While there were no differences in fat or weight loss after either trial, there was a drastic drop in diastolic blood pressure when comparing the whole grain diet against the refined grain diet.
After the eating whole grains for eight weeks, the average blood pressure drop was 8%. While eating refined grains the drop was only 1%.
This study shows that whole grains and your heart health go hand in hand. If you eat a diet consisting of whole grains instead of refined grains, your cardiovascular strength improves.
However, the study only tested on people who were overweight or obese, so they are not sure how a similar diet would affect a person with normal weight. Additionally, the majority of the participants were women.
If you have prehypertension or hypertension, try to switch your grains to whole ones. Whole grains and your heart work together to keep you healthy!