Porridge


Sarah Knapton By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor4:28PM GMT 05 Jan 2015

A small bowl of porridge each day could be the key to a long and healthy life, after a major study by Harvard University found that whole grains reduce the risk of dying from heart disease.
Although whole grains are widely believed to be beneficial for health it is the first research to look at whether they have a long-term impact on lifespan.
Researchers followed more than 100,000 people for more than 14 years monitoring their diets and health outcomes.
Everyone involved in the study was healthy in 1984 when they enrolled, but when they were followed up in 2010 more than 26,000 had died.
However those who ate the most whole grains, such as porridge, brown rice, corn and quinoa seemed protected from many illnesses and particularly heart disease.

Oats are already the breakfast of choice for many athletes and also for dieters, who find the high fibre levels give them energy for longer.
But scientists found that for each ounce (28g) of whole grains eaten a day – the equivalent of a small bowl of porridge – the risk of all death was reduced by five per cent and heart deaths by 9 per cent.
“These findings further support current dietary guidelines that recommend increasing whole-grain consumption,” said lead author Dr Hongyu Wu of Harvard School of Public Health.
“They also provide promising evidence that suggests a diet enriched with whole grains may confer benefits towards extended life expectancy.”
The findings remained even when allowing for different ages, smoking, body mass index and physical activity.
Whole grains, where the bran and germ remain, contain 25 per cent more protein than refined grains, such as those that make white flour, pasta and white rice.

Previous studies have shown that whole grains can boost bone mineral density, lower blood pressure, promote healthy gut bacteria and reduce the risk of diabetes. One particular fibre found only in oats – called beta-glucan – has been found to lower cholesterol which can help to protect against heart disease. A bioactive compound called avenanthramide is also thought to stop fat forming in the arteries, preventing heart attacks and strokes.
Whole grains are also widely recommended in many dietary guidelines because they contain high levels of nutrients like zinc, copper, manganese, iron and thiamine. They are also believed to boost levels of antioxidants which combat free-radicals.
The new research suggests that if more people switched to whole grains, thousands of lives could be saved each year. Coronary heart disease is Britain’s biggest killer, responsible for around 73,000 deaths in the UK each year. Around 2.3 million people are living with the condition and one in six men and one in 10 women will die.

Comments

  1. Interesting. Increasingly I am trying to eat less and less processed food. And prefer my bread for example to be whole grain for taste as much as for health.
    A long life is one thing, but only if it is accompanied with a reasonable level of health and independence.

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    1. It’s its sugar content that puts me off bread. 🙀

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  2. This is very informative. I love my bowl of porridge at least 5 times a week, I also have eggs and toast breakfast and occasionally other grain cereals. I agree porridge is a good choice for breakfast.

    Thanks for your positive comment on my blog.
    Hugs, Julia

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    1. It was a good post. I love porridge too.

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  3. another whole grain i love is barley, cooked in apple juice and dried apricots. It's a yummy breakfast but it's a bit slow so I cook a batch and keep it in the fridge

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    1. That sounds very nice. I don’t care what I eat.i’m not fussy at all.

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  4. I enjoy oatmeal a couple of times a week. It is one of my favourite breakfasts. It is healthy and it is also delicious.

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    1. I have mine without sugar (obviously) and can eat it cold if I have to.

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  5. So often the expensive researches conducted by academics are telling us what we already were taught by our mothers and grandmothers when we were kids. Processed, chemical-filled foods weren't around much at all when we were kids. We ate good, basic, simple, healthy foods.

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    1. Yes we did! I shocked my carer when I told her I quite fancied carrots, boiled potatoes and cabbage for dinner.

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  6. Like EC said, the whole grain products taste better as well. Although if you're used to white everything, it might take awhile to adjust. I had a friend in university who used to call white bread "kleenex" - she was used to whole wheat at home! This was during the heyday of white refined products; her mother was going against the majority at the time in feeding her family.

    You're a better person than I am if you can eat porridge cold!!! Not my favourite flavour :)

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    1. Cold porridge is nothing. My chips don’t have salt n vinegar on them. 🤢🙄.

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    2. Ha ha ha - you poor thing!!

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  7. Even though it's not my fave, I've been eating oatmeal much more than I used to, in an attempt to be more healthy. This is great information! Hugs...RO

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    1. Porridge is what I have every morning. I thought you should know why.

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