Adding a few servings of whole grains linked to slower memory decline in black people
Black people who eat more foods with whole grains, including some breads and cereals, quinoa, and popcorn, may have a slower rate of memory decline compared to Black people who eat fewer whole grain foods, according to a study published in the November 22, 2023, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The researchers did not see a similar trend in white participants.
The study does not prove that eating more whole grains slows memory decline; it only shows an association. The study found that among Black people, those who ate the most whole grains had lower levels of memory decline equivalent to being 8.5 years younger than those who ate small amounts of whole grains.
The study involved 3,326 people with an average age of 75 without dementia. Of all participants, 1,999 people, or 60%, were Black. They were followed for an average of six years.
Participants were then divided into five groups based on the amount of whole grains they had in their diet. The lowest group consumed less than half a serving per day, and the highest group consumed 2.7 servings per day. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend at least three servings of whole grain foods daily. One serving of whole grains is equivalent to an ounce of food, such as one slice of bread, a half cup of cooked pasta or rice, an ounce of crackers or a cup of dry cereal.
Researchers found that a higher proportion of Black participants had more than one serving per day of whole grains than white participants, with 67% and 38%, respectively.
“These results could help medical professionals make tailored diet recommendations,” Liu added. “More large studies are needed to validate our findings and to further investigate the effect of whole grains on cognition in different racial groups.”
Reference: Adding a few servings of whole grains linked to slower memory decline in Black people; AMERICAN ACADEMY OF NEUROLOGY, Neurology