Cereal food and cardiovascular disease risk reduction, by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.
April 2 2015
The average American eats ten pounds or 160 bowls of
cereal a year. Cereal is the third most popular item sold in grocery stores
after carbonated beverages and milk.
Not all cereals are the same. Make sure the one you purchase is whole, not refined.
Cereal grains and heart disease
Cereal fiber is associated with cardiovascular risk reduction through multiple mechanisms and consuming a variety of cereal fiber sources offers health benefits specific to the source. Certain ones have been studied more extensively than others and provide greater support for their incorporation into a healthful diet. beta-glucan from oats or barley, or a combination of whole oats and barley, and soluble fiber from psyllium reduces the risk of coronary heart disease; inulin-type fructans added to foods and beverages may modestly decrease serum triacylglycerols; arabinoxylan and resistant starch may improve blood sugar control.
Cereal grains and legumes in the prevention of coronary heart disease and
stroke: a review of the literature.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006. Flight I, Clifton P. CSIRO Human Nutrition, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
The intake of wholegrain cereal foods clearly protects against heart disease and stroke but the exact mechanism is not clear. Fibre, magnesium, folate and vitamins B6 and vitamin E may be important. The intake of high GI carbohydrates (from both cereal grain and non-grain sources) in large amounts is associated with an increased risk of heart disease in overweight and obese women even when fibre intake is high but this requires further confirmation in normal-weight women. Carbohydrate-rich foods should be wholegrain cereal and if they are not, then the lowest GI product available should be consumed. Glycemic index is largely irrelevant for foods that contain small amounts of carbohydrate per serve (such as most vegetables).
Graham flour is a type of whole wheat flour named after Presbyterian minister Rev. Sylvester Graham, an early advocate for dietary reform. Graham despised processed white flour and believed that bran was the cure-all to the bad eating habits of his compatriots.
Kellogg's Rice Krispies - Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943) was a medical doctor in Battle Creek, Michigan who ran a sanitarium using holistic methods, with a particular focus on nutrition, enemas and exercise. Today Kellogg, a radical advocate of vegetarianism, is best known for the invention of the corn flake. Granula became Granola. By 1891 Kellogg was starting to become the cereal king. 1896, first year of commercial production of Granose flakes. Kellogg company, based in Battle Creek, Michigan, is the world’s largest breakfast cereal producer and leading provider of convenience foods.
Shredded Wheat - Shredded Wheat is a breakfast cereal made from whole wheat. It may be crumbled up with hands before adding milk. Henry Perky invented shredded wheat cereal in 1893. The wheat is first cooked in water until its moisture content reaches about 50%. It is then tempered, allowing moisture to diffuse evenly into the grain. The grain then passes through a set of rollers with grooves in one side, yielding a web of shredded wheat strands. 1901 relocated plant to Niagara Falls. The home of Shredded Wheat.
Grape-Nuts by Post in 1897 - wheat, barley, malt, yeast -
Benefit of germination
Whole grain cereals have been found to be a good source of nutritionally valuable substances, such as antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber. A wide range of these compounds is affected by germination. While some compounds, such as beta-glucans are degraded, others, like vitamins can be increased by means of malting.