Consuming a high number of refined grains -- such as croissants and white bread -- is associated with a higher risk of major cardiovascular disease, stroke and death, a new study suggests.
The study found that having more than seven servings of refined grains per day was associated with a 27 per cent greater risk for early death, 33 percent greater risk for heart disease and 47 per cent greater risk for stroke.
"This study re-affirms previous work indicating a healthy diet includes limiting overly processed and refined foods," said researcher Scott Lear from the Simon Fraser University in Canada.
For the study, published in The British Journal, the team examined diets from diverse populations, which involved 137,130 participants from low, middle and high-income countries for 16 years.
Grains were categorized into three groups -- refined grains, whole grains and white rice. Refined grains included goods made with refined (e.g. white) flour, including white bread, pasta/noodles, breakfast cereals, crackers, and bakery products/desserts containing refined grains.