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
Dr. Greger in the Kitchen: Groatnola
Dr. Greger whips up another of his go-to breakfast meals.
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.
Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist
In my book How Not to Die, I center my recommendations around a Daily Dozen checklist of all the things I try to fit into my daily routine.
Do the Pros of Brown Rice Outweigh the Cons of Arsenic?
Are there unique benefits to brown rice that would justify keeping it in our diet despite the arsenic content?
Arsenic in Rice Milk, Rice Krispies, & Brown Rice Syrup
I recommend people switch away from using rice milk.
Arsenic in Infant Rice Cereal
When it comes to rice and rice-based products, pediatric nutrition authorities have recommended that arsenic intake should be as low as possible.
Eating More to Weigh Less
Energy density explains how a study can show participants lose an average of 17 pounds within 21 days while eating a greater quantity of food.
How to Prevent a Stroke
Insufficient intake of fiber-rich foods may lead to the stiffening of our arteries associated with risk of having a stroke.
Oatmeal Lotion for Chemotherapy-Induced Rash
Oats are put to the test against cetuximab-type chemo side effects to see just how soothing and anti-inflammatory they can be.
From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food
Dr. Greger has scoured the world’s scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this new presentation based on the latest in cutting-edge research exploring the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing some of our leading causes of death and disability.
Whole Grains May Work as Well as Drugs
The consumption of three portions of whole grains a day appears as powerful as high blood pressure medications in alleviating hypertension.
Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death
Death in America is largely a foodborne illness. Focusing on studies published just over the last year in peer-reviewed scientific medical journals, Dr. Greger offers practical advice on how best to feed ourselves and our families to prevent, treat, and even reverse many of the top 15 killers in the United States.
Antioxidants in a Pinch
Some herbs and spices—including cinnamon, cloves, lemon balm, marjoram, oregano, and peppermint—are so rich in antioxidants that just a small pinch can go a long way.
Calculate Your Healthy Eating Score
Rate your diet on a scale of 0 to 100 using the phytochemical index, and compare your score to the Standard American Diet.
Is One Egg a Day Too Much?
The Harvard Physicians’ Health Study suggests that those eating an egg a day live shorter lives.