Researchers found that for about every serving (16 grammes) of whole grains there was a seven percent decreased risk in total deaths, nine percent decline in cardiovascular disease-related deaths; and five percent decline in cancer-related deaths.

The more whole grains consumed, the lower was the death rate. According to researchers, when three servings (48 grammes) were consumed daily the rates declined 20 per cent for total deaths; 25 percent for cardiovascular deaths; and 14 percent for cancer-related deaths.

"Previous studies have suggested an association with consumption of whole grains and reduced risk of developing a multitude of chronic diseases that are among the top causes of deaths, although data linking whole grain intake and mortality were less consistent," said Qi Sun from Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health in the US.
    
Whole grains, such as whole wheat, oats and brown rice, contain dietary fibre, which may help improve blood cholesterol levels, and lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity and type 2 diabetes, researchers said.

Dietary fibre can also make you feel full longer, so you may eat fewer calories.

The analysis included 12 studies published through February 2016. The combined studies involved 786,076 men and women with 97,867 total deaths, 23,597 deaths from cardiovascular disease, and 37,492 deaths from cancer.

Whole grains provide many nutrients, such as fibre, B vitamins, and minerals, which are removed during the refining process, researchers said.

The findings were published in the journal Circulation.

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