How whole grains help reduce blood pressure Take time today to enjoy the world around you. Three portions of wholegrain or oat foods in your diet each day could slash blood pressure and dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, according to a new study at Aberdeen University. Scientists tested 206 volunteers aged between 40 and 65; some were normal weight, others overweight and some obese. The amount of exercise each did varied but most had blood pressure levels considered borderline hypertensive. The volunteers were asked to eat their normal diet, but to include either refined food such as white bread and rice, or three portions of whole-wheat products such as whole-wheat bread, or three portions of wheat and oat products such as porridge and whole-grain cereals. Over the following three months, the team tound that the participants who added wholewheat, or wholewheat and oats, saw their blood pressure reduced significantly compared with those who stuck to the refined diet. The study concluded that if everyone added three portions of whole-grain food to their daily diet, rates of heart disease could be slashed by 15 percent and strokes by 25 percent. Dr Frank Thies, of the Universitys Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, who led the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, said, "The message is that even a small intervention such as eating wholegrain can make a big ditterence to heart attack and stroke risk.” A portion is counted as halt a cup of oats or brown rice or a slice of wholegrain bread.