New research has found that people who eat several servings of whole grains each day and cut down on their consumption of refined grains may have less of a specific fat tissue thought to play a key role in bringing on heart disease and type 2 diabetes .
The study, at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Researcher Center on Aging at Tufts University, found there were smaller amounts of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) in people who ate a lot of whole grains rather than refined grains. They investigated diet questionnaires from 2,834 adults aged between 32 and 83 who had undergone multi-detector-computed tomography (MDCT) scans to determine levels of VAT and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT).
When the relationship of visceral fat tissue and subcutaneous fat tissue to whole and refined grain intake was compared, there was found to be a more obvious association with visceral fat, which persisted even after lifestyle factors were taken into account.
Nicola McKeow, first author on the study, which was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, said “VAT volume was approximately 10 pc lower in adults who reported eating three or more daily servings of whole grains and who limited their intake of refined grains to less than one serving per day.”
Co-author Paul Jacques commented “Prior research suggests visceral fat is more closely tied to the development of metabolic syndromen, a cluster of risk factors including hypertensio, unhealthy cholesterol levels and insulin resistance that can develop into cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes .”

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