High intake of refined grains linked to higher risk of heart disease and death

High intake of highly processed (refined) grains is associated with higher risk of heart disease and death than whole (unrefined) grains, finds a study published by The BMJ today. Cereal grains, such as oats, rice, barley and wheat make up around 50% of daily caloric intake across the world and up to 70% in low and middle income countries, particularly in Africa and South Asia. Whole grains tend to be higher in dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids than refined grains. Previous studies have shown that higher whole grain intake is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease and death, but no clear associations were found for refined grains.