Consistent with recommendations from leading cancer and heart disease authorities, my recommended Daily Dozen includes at least three daily servings of whole grains, such as oats. Harvard University’s preeminent twin nutrition studies—the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study—have so far accumulated nearly three million person-years of data. A 2015 analysis found that people who eat more whole grains tend to live significantly longer lives independent of other measured dietary and lifestyle factors.
A diet rich in whole grains, for example, may yield the same benefits as taking high blood pressure medications without the adverse side effects commonly associated with antihypertensive drugs, such as electrolyte disturbances in those taking diuretics; increased breast cancer risk for those taking calcium-channel blockers; lethargy and impotence for those on beta blockers; sudden, potentially life-threatening swelling for those taking ACE inhibitors; and an increased risk of serious fall injuries for apparently any class of these blood pressure drugs.
Indeed, eating whole grains appears to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and stroke. Eating more whole grains could potentially save the lives of more than a million people around the world every year. Take note of the whole, however. While whole grains, such as oats, whole wheat, and brown rice, have been shown to reduce our risk of developing chronic disease, refined grains may actually increase risk.
People who ate the most whole grains had significantly slower narrowing of two of the most important arteries in our body: the coronary arteries that feed the heart and the carotid arteries that feed our brain. Since atherosclerotic plaque in the arteries is our leading killer, we should not just slow down the process but actually stop or even reverse it altogether, and eating more whole plant foods, including whole grains like oats, can help.
The information on this page has been compiled from Dr. Greger’s research. Sources for each video listed can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab. References may also be found at the back of his books.
Popular Videos for Oats
All Videos for Oats
Should We Be Concerned About the Effects of Ochratoxin?
The overall cost-benefit ratio for mycotoxins depends on which food is contaminated.
Ochratoxin in Certain Herbs, Spices, and Wine
Most food crops are contaminated with fungal mycotoxins, but some foods are worse than others.
Ochratoxin in Breakfast Cereals
One of the few food contaminants found at higher levels in those eating plant-based diets are mycotoxins, fungal toxins in moldy food ingredients, such as oats.
Dr. Greger in the Kitchen: Cran-Chocolate Pomegranate BROL Bowl
Prebiotic goodness for breakfast to keep your microbiome happy all day long.
Is Sorghum a Healthy Grain?
How does sorghum compare with other grains in terms of protein, antioxidants, and micronutrients? And the benefits of red sorghum compared to black and white varieties.
Which Is a Better Breakfast: Cereal or Oatmeal?
The remarkable impact of the structure of food beyond nutritional content or composition.
Recipe: Morning Grain Bowls
Here’s a delicious way to start the day! Morning Grain Bowls from the How Not to Die Cookbook.
Benefits of Lentils and Chickpeas
Lentils and chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are put to the test.
Benefits of Blueberries for Blood Pressure May Be Blocked by Yogurt
What happened when researchers tried to tease out what’s in dairy that interferes with the health benefits of berries and tea?
Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist
In my book How Not to Die, I center my recommendations around a Daily Dozen checklist of everything I try to fit into my daily routine.