Nicola McKeown, Scientist

Tufts University

Dr. Nicola McKeown is Scientist I in the Nutritional Epidemiology Laboratory at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging and Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. She is internationally renowned for her research examining the role of whole grains in promoting health. Her current research employs large observational datasets to examine the interaction between diet and genes on cardiometabolic risk. In addition, she is PI of Adhering to Dietary Approaches for Personal Taste (ADAPT), a web-based study designed to capture data on diet and behavior among followers of popular diets. Dr. McKeown serves as scientific advisor for the Whole Grains Council. Dr. McKeown was the 2014 recipient of the ASN General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition Innovation Award.

Emerging Health Benefits of Whole-Grains

Epidemiological studies have linked higher intake of whole grains (WGs) to lower risk of developing chronic disease, including CVD, diabetes and certain cancers. In comparison to refined grains, WGs are nutritionally superior, rich in micronutrients, phytochemicals, and dietary fiber. Variation exists in the physical structures and nutritional composition of WG that contribute to their beneficial health effects. While the health promoting effects of WGs have been largely been attributed to dietary fiber, phytochemicals found in WG offer alternative mechanisms to promote health. This presentation will highlight some of the emerging health benefits of WGs. The learning objectives for this presentation is • Understand the health benefits of eating a diet rich in whole grains • Understand the variation in the nutritional composition of whole grains • Understand the potential mechanisms behind the health benefits of whole grains