Whole-Grain Diet Can Help Regulate Blood Pressure

Read Time: 3:50
Published: Oct 31st, 2016
Whole-Grain Diet Can Help Blood Pressure
Article Updated:January 9th, 2021

A recent study shows that eating the right grains reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is key since, as we age, cardiovascular disease can lead to many health issues, including long-term health care and death.

According to Cleveland Clinic research, a diet rich in whole grains may significantly lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in overweight and obese adults who are younger than age 50.

A team of Cleveland Clinic researchers led by John Kirwan, Ph.D., in collaboration with Nestlé Research Center, conducted one of the most extensive controlled studies of its kind on whole grains.

Key Regulator of Blood Pressure

The findings, published in the Journal of Nutrition, suggests that whole grains can be a key regulator of blood pressure and could provide an effective nutritional strategy to reduce cardiovascular-related deaths and disorders.

“Heart disease and strokes are a leading cause of death in the United States,”  “This research shows that eating whole grains reduces the risk factors for heart disease.”

Dr. John Kirwan, Metabolic Translational Research Center

Dr. Kirwan is the Metabolic Translational Research Center director, which is part of Cleveland Clinic's Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute. Strokes are one of the leading causes of extended-long-term health care, which can impact the quality of life, create financial issues, impact a spouse or partner's lifestyle, and cause a burden on family members.

In the study, 33 overweight and obese adults followed either a whole-grain diet or a refined grain diet for two eight-week periods. The diets were the same, except for whether they consisted of whole grains or refined grains.

At the beginning and end of each diet period, the participants underwent three days of metabolic testing in a clinical research setting. Those on the whole-grain diet saw a three-fold greater improvement in their diastolic blood pressure than when they ate the refined-grain diet.

Blood pressure is typically recorded as two numbers. The systolic is the top number, which measures the pressure in the arteries when the heartbeats. Diastolic is the bottom number, which measures the pressure in the heartbeats. Diastolic is the bottom number, which measures the pressure in the heartbeats.

Increased Blood Pressure Assoaited with Health Issues

Before age 50, elevated diastolic blood pressure is associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk.

One way to reduce high blood pressure and maintain adequate blood pressure is to include whole-grains in your diet. Some experts suggest including whole-grain wheat and oat-based recipes in meals.

Some studies suggest ingesting three portions of whole-grain foods per day considerably reduced the risk of high blood pressure.

"Based on large populations studies, the improvement seen after the whole grain diet equates to reducing the risk of death from heart disease by almost a third, and the risk of death from a stroke by two-fifths."

“The result that was most intriguing was the greater improvement in diastolic blood pressure after the whole-grain diet; diastolic blood pressure is the pressure associated with the relaxation of the heart and blood vessels,”  The number was reduced by a substantial amount.”

Dr.  John Kirwan 

Hypertension – or high blood pressure – is a common obesity-related condition that affects about 30 percent of U.S. adults and is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. As people with elevated diastolic blood pressure get older, they are at higher-than-average risk of developing elevated systolic blood pressure. The increased risk of stroke also increases the risk of extended care, as well.

All participants saw substantial reductions in body weight, fat loss, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol during both diet periods. However, the researchers say, these differences were due to the participants changing their usual eating habits to the carefully controlled diets.

“Both were healthy diets, and both diets had a similar amount of calories and were from healthy foods. The only difference was the whole grain.”

"More research is needed to figure out what it is about whole grains that caused the drop in diastolic blood pressure."

Dr. John Kirwan 

In the meantime, the study shows that it’s a smart move to add whole grains to your diet and drop the refined grains, he says.

The recommendations from the United States Department of Agriculture is for Americans to eat 50 grams of whole grain a day, he says. Currently, U.S. adults are consuming about 16 grams a day on average.

“So we have a lot of room for improvement — and that improvement could improve your cardiovascular profile, and reduce your risk for disease.”

Dr. John Kirwan 

 

About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

Editor's Note

Your body, health, and mind will change in the next 20+ years. Consider the physical, emotional, and financial burdens placed on you and your loved ones as you get older.

LTC NEWS Tools Assist with Research

LTC NEWS offers an abundance of resources to learn about your options and decide which long-term care solution is best for you. However, these solutions are all medically underwritten, so you can't delay until you have major health problems. It would be best if you planned when you still enjoy reasonably good health. The underwriting rules vary between insurance companies. Many experts suggest starting your research in your 40s or 50s. 

Use the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator and find both the current and future cost of care services where you live. Click here and see the financial impact. 

Caregiving is hard on family members, and paid care is expensive. Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance provides the tax-free resources to pay for your choice of quality care in-home or in a facility.

Use Qualified Specialist to Research LTC Options

Be sure to seek the right type of professional help. Experts say to avoid using a financial advisor or general insurance agent. They often lack the experience and knowledge in policy features, underwriting, tax advantages, and other factors. Since premiums can vary by over 100% between insurance companies, you need a skilled and trusted professional.

Items to Discuss with a Long-Term Care Specialist:

  • Partnership: Most states offer special policies that provide dollar-for-dollar asset protection. The Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership Program might be one of the best-kept secrets in retirement planning. Make sure the specialist explains this program and how it might help you.
  • Tax incentives: There are federal tax incentives available for some people. If you own your own business, be sure to ask.
  • Health Savings Accounts: If you have an HSA you can use the pre-tax money in your account to pay for the premium.
  • Asset-Based or Hybrid policies: These are life insurance or annuities with a rider for long-term care. Careful, only a handful are actually a long-term care benefit. However, one of these policies can provide you with the flexibility of both a long-term care benefit or a death benefit. They are expensive but can be paid with a single premium.
  • Health and Family History: Make sure the specialist asks you detailed questions about your health, family history, and retirement plans. Underwritingcriteria vary with each insurance company. If they are not asking you detailed questions, then find another specialist.

A qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist will help you navigate the options and find the best coverage at the best value. Discover your trusted pro by clicking here.

Share News with LTC NEWS

Do you have news to share related to the long-term care industry or financial planning, caregiving, and other related topics? Share the information with LTC NEWS.

Email press releases to LTC NEWS at newsroom@ltcnews.com or click here.

You can also write a story to share with the world on LTC NEWS. Be sure your article fits the LTC NEWS target audience of adults 40-70.

Topics can include stories on:

  • Aging
  • Caregiving
  • Health
  • Long-Term Care
  • Retirement Planning

There are numerous other related topics, as well. You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. It must have editorial content exclusive for LTC NEWS and cannot be just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.

You can also purchase sponsored content or advertising with LTC NEWS - learn more by clicking here.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly
James Kelly

Contributor Since
August 21st, 2017

LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

About the Author

LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

Work With a Long-Term Care Specialist
Work With a Trusted Long-Term Care Insurance Specialist
  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • A Strong understanding in underwriting, policy design, and claims experience.
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies.
Find a Trusted Specialist
Table of Contents
Connect With a Long-Term Care Specialist

Find Affordable Insurance and the Right Coverage.

LTC News Trusted & Verified
Learn More
Search Results
17 results found for "patient care"