Eating whole grain cereal daily could make you 20 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure.

Photo courtesy of janineomg on Flickr.
Photo courtesy of janineomg on Flickr.

Eating whole grain cereal daily could make you 20 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure, CNN.com reports.

Researchers analyzed data on over 13,000 men over 17 years. The men who ate cereal at least once a week were a seven percent less likely to develop hypertension than their non-cereal eating counterparts, while the men who ate one or more servings of cereal per day had a 19 percent lower risk. Researchers presented their whole-grain findings at an American Heart Association in Atlanta on Tuesday.

A nutrition professor from the College of St. Catherine in Minneapolis pointed out that “it may be more about the way you put the breakfast together than anything magical about breakfast cereal.” People tend to eat cereal with milk, fruit and nuts—all foods that could contribute to lowering blood pressure.

A similar study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2009 also found that men who ate breakfast cereal had a lower risk of developing heart failure. The Wall Street Journal Health Blog thought those results seemed strange and investigated, writing that the correlation between eating breakfast cereal and lowered risk of heart problems could be a coincidence; the people who eat breakfast cereals regularly could tend to have healthy lifestyles in general.

About one third of the adult US population has hypertension, or high blood pressure, a problem that can lead to strokes, heart attacks and kidney problems if left untreated, CNN reports.