If you ban all carbs, all the time, you’re doing yourself a disservice and possibly cutting your life short, according to research from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The study is actually a meta-analysis, published in the journal Circulation, which cross-referenced 12 different studies as well as unpublished research from two different National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Researchers observed the daily habits of 786,076 men and women, total.
The verdict? People who ate 70 grams (about 4 servings) of whole grains per day, compared with those who ate little or no whole grains, had a 22 percent lower risk of premature death, a 23 percent lower risk of death from heart disease, and a 20 percent lower risk of death from cancer.
The researchers believe compounds in whole grains may contribute to the impressive health benefits. What’s more, whole grains’ high fiber content may lower cholesterol production and glucose response, and increase satiety.
Your best bet is to choose wholesome sources of whole grains such as bran, oats, and quinoa that have at least 16g of whole grains per serving. Oh, and nix the Cheetos. Unrefined carbs aren’t doing you any favors. Here, we’ve highlighted the best whole grains you can cook with and snack on.