Eat Your Oatmeal! Study Finds That A Bowl A Day May Keep The Grim Reaper Away

“Eat your oatmeal!” may become the new slogan for a longer life. A long-term study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) has determined that if you eat your oatmeal daily, it may help decrease your chance of death by up to 15 percent. High bran consumption may help out those with cardiovascular issues, as well.

“The study also found that bran, a component of whole grain foods, was associated with similar beneficial effects. Bran intake was linked with up to 6 percent lower overall death risk and up to 20 percent lower cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related risk.”

The study was publish online on January 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Previously, eating whole grains, like oatmeal, has been associated with a number health benefits, such as lower risk of major chronic diseases like CVD and Type 2 Diabetes. The oatmeal study by HSPH involved information collected from more than 74,000 women and more than 43,000 men who periodically filled out questionnaires about their diets from the mid-1980s to 2010.

Over the 25-year periods researchers compared participants whole grain intake with mortality rates, adjusting for various factors like “age, smoking, body mass index, physical activity, and overall diet excluding whole grains.”

“They found that whole grain intake was associated with up to 9 percent decreased risk of overall mortality and up to 15 percent decreased risk of CVD-related mortality. For each serving of whole grains (28g/day), the overall death risk dropped by 5 percent, and by 9 percent for CVD-related death.”

As USA Today, reports, that is only one ounce of oatmeal a day. Qi Sun, assistant professor with the HSPH noted that, “It could be a dose response where you have to eat a certain amount to get the benefits and going above that would be even better.”

After you eat them, oatmeal and other whole grains digest slowly in your system which help moderate insulin and blood sugar levels. They also contain a number of nutrients like zinc, copper, manganese, iron and thiamine. Oats, or oatmeal, in particular has a specific type of fiber, known has beta-glucan, that is known to lower cholesterol levels.

The study notes, however, that there has been no evidence to suggest that a bowl of oatmeal a day helps reduce the risk of a cancer-related death.

So, eat your oatmeal daily to help stay alive longer. No word if eating oatmeal cookies count?

[Images via common.wikipedia.org]