Research Roundup

October 2016 Issue




Whole Grains, Soy Foods, and the Plant-Based Diet

Whole Grains Linked to Longer Life

Eating at least three servings of whole grains, such as bran, oatmeal, and quinoa, every day could lower your risk of cardiovascular disease-related death. A review of studies by Harvard researchers that included 786,076 men and women found that when three servings of whole grains were eaten daily, there was a 20 percent decreased risk in total deaths and 25 percent lower risk in cardiovascular disease-related deaths. High fiber, vitamin, and mineral content could explain benefits.

Circulation, June 2016

Soyfoods Reduce Risk of Colon Cancer

Consuming soyfoods may lower the risk of colon cancer, the third most prevalent cancer in the world. In a meta-analysis, researchers examined 17 studies that analyzed the relationship between soy isoflavone eaten in soyfoods or taken in supplements and the risk of colon cancer. They found that intake of soy isoflavones was associated with a 23 percent reduction in colon cancer risk. Over half of the population studies included the consumption of traditional soyfoods, such as tofu, soybeans, soymilk, and miso soup.

Scientific Reports, May 2016

Plant-Based Diet Lowers Diabetes Risk

Eating a plant-based diet, especially one rich in healthy plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Harvard researchers tracked over 200,000 men and women for more than 20 years whose diets were evaluated using a plant-based diet index, which rated plant-derived foods higher and animal-derived foods lower. Following a plant-based diet low in animal foods was linked to a 20 percent reduced risk of type 2 diabetes compared with low adherence to this diet. Eating a healthy plant-based diet was linked with a 34 percent lower diabetes risk.

PLOS Medicine, June 2016