How many slices of wholemeal bread a day

Three slices of wholemeal bread a day slash risk of dying from heart disease by 25%By Sophie Borland Health Editor For The Daily Mail 21:00 13 Jun 2016, updated 11:38 14 Jun 201627

How many slices of wholemeal bread a day

Three slices of wholemeal bread a day slash risk of dying from heart disease by 25%

By Sophie Borland Health Editor For The Daily Mail 21:00 13 Jun 2016, updated 11:38 14 Jun 2016

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  • Extra portions of wholegrain foods reduce risk of death by seven per cent
  • Doctors should encourage patients to eat brown rice, say researchers
  • Third of adults don't eat recommended amount of wholegrain foods a day
  • Largest study to date to assess the link of wholegrains and heart disease

Just three slices of wholemeal bread a day can slash the risk of dying from heart disease by a quarter, a major study reveals.

It also shows that even small extra helpings of wholewheat pasta or brown rice eaten each day help prevent an early death.ADVERTISEMENT

Harvard researchers say the Government should issue new public health advice urging us to eat more wholegrains as the long term benefits are so strong.

Although some wholegrain foods also contain sugar and salt which can be detrimental to our health, they contain far lower levels than white bread, rice or processed cereals.

Doctors should routinely encourage patients to eat more wholegrain foods so they can live longer

Whole grains  such as porridge oats, muesli and seeded bread  include carbohydrates which haven't been processed. Here is what three portions a day could look like

Wholegrains  such as porridge oats, muesli and seeded bread  include carbohydrates which haven't been processed.

They are rich in fibre, protein, antioxidants and certain vitamins which are thought to encourage digestion, help weight loss and prevent heart disease, cancer and other illnesses.

In the largest study of its kind so far, researchers from Harvard University's School of Public Health analysed evidence involving 800,000 adults including their dietary habits.

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They found that every 16g portion of wholegrain food reduced the risk of dying from heart disease by 9 per cent.

The likelihood of dying from cancer went down by 5 per cent and from any other long term illness by 7 per cent.

One 16g portion is equivalent to a slice of bread, a small bowl of muesli, or porridge or half a cup of wholewheat pasta or rice.

But adults who ate three portions a day  48g  were 25 per cent less at risk of dying of heart disease, 14 per cent from cancer and 20 per cent from any natural cause.

There are no official guidelines on wholegrain food in the UK although experts say the public should aim for at least three portions a day.ADVERTISEMENT

But surveys show that only a third of adults manage this and 5 per cent don't have any wholegrain food at all.

Dr Qi Sun, assistant professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and his team analysed previous studies involving 786,076 men and women from the US, the UK and Scandinavia.

New research found for every 16g helping of wholegrain foods, the risk of dying from heart disease was reduced by nine per cent

These included research which had looked at their diet and whether they had died from cancer, heart disease or other natural causes.

Dr Sun, whose research is published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, said health officials including the NHS should change national guidelines to promote a wholegrain-rich diet.

He also urged against following low carb diets as these did not allow for enough wholegrain foods.

He added: 'Previous studies have suggested an association with consumption of wholegrains and reduced risk of developing a multitude of chronic diseases that are among the top causes of deaths, although data linking wholegrain intake and mortality were less consistent.'

Victoria Taylor, senior dietician at the British Heart Foundation, said: 'Eating more wholegrains is a simple change we can make to improve our diet and help lower our risk of heart and circulatory disease.

'Choosing brown rice, wholewheat pasta, wholemeal or granary bread instead of white and swapping to wholegrain breakfast cereals like porridge are all simple ways to help us up our fibre and wholegrain intake.'

Dr Shamim Quadir, of the Stroke Association, said: 'It is well known that eating a balanced diet that is high in wholegrain foods is beneficial to your health. This latest study from the US provides further evidence to support this argument.ADVERTISEMENT

'Eating a balanced diet, getting enough exercise, and getting your blood pressure checked regularly are all important steps to reduce your risk of having a stroke. If you are at all concerned about your risk of stroke, talk to your GP.'

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Three slices of wholemeal bread a day slash risk of dying from heart disease by 25%

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