“Healthy” whole grains: What the evidence really shows – the evidence

 
This guide is based on scientific evidence, following our policy for evidence-based guides.

It’s written by Franziska Spritzler, RD, with the latest major update on September 19, 2019. Additional editing and fact-checking by Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD. The guide was medically reviewed by Dr. Bret Scher, MD, on September 19, 2019.1

The guide contains scientific references. You can find these in the notes throughout the text, and click the links to read the peer-reviewed scientific papers. When appropriate we include a grading of the strength of the evidence, with a link to our policy on this. Our evidence-based guides are updated at least once per year to reflect and reference the latest science on the topic.

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Read more about our policies and work with evidence-based guides, nutritional controversies, our writers team and our medical review board.

Disclaimer: The effects of whole grains on human health is controversial, with inconclusive evidence for long-term health effects.4 While whole grains appear to be better than refined grains for many health outcomes, there is almost a complete lack of research on whether whole grains are better than no grains.

This guide is our attempt at summarizing what is known. It is written for adults who are concerned about whole grain intake and health.

Controversial topics related to a low-carb diet, and our take on them, include saturated fats, cholesterol, red meat and whether the brain needs carbohydrates.

 
Should you find any inaccuracy in this guide, please email andreas@dietdoctor.com.

Return to the guide to whole grains

  1. The latest update includes a large number modest changes in the text and the addition of many more scientific references.

  2. A full declaration of potential conflicts of interests of individual authors or reviewers can be found on their personal pages, linked from their names.

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  4. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017: Whole grain cereals for the primary or secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease [strong evidence]