The wholesome goodness of grains

Eating more whole grains is linked to a lower risk of heart disease.


Image: © Bigacis/Getty Images

The word "refined" often describes things that have been stripped of impurities or other unwanted elements. But when it comes to wheat, rice, and other grains, the refining process instead removes the most healthful parts of these nutritious foods.

For example, white flour and white rice have far less of the vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, fiber, and other plant-based chemicals called polyphenols found in whole-wheat flour and brown rice. The combination of those beneficial nutrients may explain why people who eat more whole grains have a lower risk of developing and dying from heart disease.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »