Eating millets can lower total cholesterol, triacylglycerols (commonly known as triglycerides) and BMI, according to a new study analyzing data from 19 studies involving nearly 900 people.
The study was undertaken by five organizations and led by the International Crops Research Institute of the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). The results, published in Frontiers in Nutrition, provide essential scientific support to efforts to popularize and return millet to diets, particularly as a staple food, to combat the growing prevalence of obesity and overweight among children. children, adolescents and adults.
The study found that consuming millet reduced total cholesterol by 8 percent, taking it from a high level to a normal level in the people studied. There was an almost 10 percent decrease in low and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (generally considered “bad cholesterol”) and triacylglycerol levels in the blood. As a result of these reductions, the levels went from an above normal level to a normal range. Additionally, consumption of millet lowered blood pressure, with diastolic blood pressure (the lower number of the BP reading) decreasing by 5%.
“We were very surprised at the number of human studies already undertaken on the impact of mils on the elements having an impact on cardiovascular disease, and this is the very first time that anyone has put all of these studies together. and analyze their data to test the significance of the impact. We used a meta-analysis and the results came out very clearly to show a significant positive impact on cardiovascular disease risk factors, ”said Dr. S. Anitha, lead author of the study and senior nutritionist at the ICRISAT.
The study also found that consuming millet reduced BMI by 7% in overweight and obese people (from 28.5 (+/- 2.4) to 26.7 (+/- 1.8) kg / m2), showing the possibility of returning to a normal BMI (less than 25 kg / m2). All results are based on consuming 50 to 200 g of mils per day for a period ranging from 21 days to four months.
These results are influenced by comparisons that show millets are much higher in unsaturated fatty acids, with levels 2-10 times higher than refined wheat and milled rice, while being much higher than whole wheat.
“Poor diet is a major contributor to the increased incidence of diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The results of this study, along with our recent study, showed that consuming millet reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and was helping to manage type 2 diabetes, stresses that it is essential to carefully consider the most appropriate way to re-enter millet into the diet in India and to ensure that it reaches the age of majority Said Dr Hemalatha, director of the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN).
“Obesity and overweight are increasing globally in rich and poor countries alike, so it is essential to find solutions based on healthier diets. value chain, from better varieties for farmers to the development of agribusiness, ”said ICRISAT Executive Director Dr Jacqueline Hughes.
In a word
The study identified a number of future priority areas for research, including the need to study all different types of millet, to understand the differences by variety as well as the different types of cooking and processing of millets and their impact on millet. cardiovascular health.
Given the positive indicators to date, a more detailed analysis of the impact of mils on weight management is also recommended. It is also recommended to evaluate all relevant parameters to better understand the impacts of millet consumption on hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular disease.