Whole grains, cereal fiber, and chronic diseases: Epidemiologic evidence

Mark A Pereira, Joel J. Pins, David R Jacobs Jr, Len Marquart, Joseph Keenan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

17 Scopus citations


The hypothesis that dietary fiber may reduce the risk for chronic diseases was extrapolated from the ecological observations of Burkitt et al., who compared and contrasted the diets and disease patterns of Westernized and non-Westernized cultures. This hypothesis came from whole plant foods, with fruits and vegetables historically and contemporaneously receiving much public health attention, and less attention being given to whole grain foods. Over the past few decades, important epidemiologic observations have been made on the topic of dietary fiber and chronic disease risk, thus fueling a reductionist approach rather than a “whole food” one. Recent epidemiologic findings on whole grain foods allow us to evaluate the food source of fiber, with its nutrientrich complex still somewhat intact, in association with chronic disease risk. As such, we have developed a nontraditional hypothesis that fiber alone is only one potentially efficacious component of whole grains and other appropriately processed plant foods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCRC Handbook of Dietary Fiber in Human Nutrition
EditorsG Spiller
Place of PublicationBoca Raton, Florida
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781420038514
ISBN (Print)0849323878, 9780849323874
StatePublished - 2001


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