Numerous studies continue to reveal the many health benefits of eating whole grains. While the benefits are most pronounced for those consuming at least three servings daily, according to the Whole Grains Council, some studies show reduced risks of certain conditions from as little as one serving daily. Here are some important benefits of whole grains:

  • Reduced risk of diabetes. Researchers at Tufts University found that people who eat three or more servings of whole grains a day, especially from cereals, are less likely to develop insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, common precursors of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

  • Reduced risk of heart disease. According to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers found that for each 10 grams of fiber consumed per day, there was a 14 percent reduction in heart disease risk and a 25 percent reduction in the risk of dying from heart disease. In short, the cereal fiber in whole grains appears to make heart disease much less likely-and less serious if it does occur.

  • Reduced risk of rectal cancer. University of Utah nutritionists found that high intakes of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains reduced the risk of rectal cancer by 28 percent, 27 percent, and 31 percent respectively. A high-fiber diet (more than 34 grams of fiber per day) reduced rectal cancer by 66 percent, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

  • Reduced risk of obesity. After tracking the eating patterns of more than 74,000 women from 1984 to 1996, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that women who consumed more whole grains consistently weighed less than women who consumed fewer whole grains, they reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

It's easy to bring whole grains into your diet. For breakfast, enjoy a delicious bowl of Total® Whole Grain cereal or a slice of whole grain bread topped with fruit preserves. Lunch can be a plate of whole grain pasta with some fresh tomato sauce. For dinner, try a bowl of brown rice with some grilled chicken mixed throughout.