Rye and health - Where do we stand and where do we go?
Background: High whole grain intake has consistently been associated with lowered risk of developing a number of chronic diseases. Among cereals, rye has highest content of dietary fiber, together with a wide variety of bioactive compounds. There is accumulating evidence from intervention studies of physiological effects of rye foods with potential health benefits. Scope and approach: This review summarizes the state of the art of rye and health and identifies future directions for research and innovation, based partly on findings presented at the international conference “The Power of Rye” Åland, Finland, 7–8 June 2017. Key findings and conclusions: Rye foods have well-established beneficial effects on insulin metabolism compared with wheat bread under isocaloric conditions and at standardized amounts of available carbohydrates, which may have positive implications for diabetes prevention. Recent findings suggest that alterations in blood glucose flux partly explain these effects. Moreover, several studies have shown beneficial effects of rye-based foods on satiety, which is one plausible mechanism behind recently demonstrated beneficial effects on weight management. Emerging results indicate beneficial effects of rye intake on inflammation and blood lipids. More research is needed to uncover underlying mechanisms for other demonstrated effects and the long-term implications for health. A challenge with rye-based foods is making them palatable and widely acceptable to consumers. Development of innovative and tasty rye products and targeted communication strategies is crucial in increasing awareness and consumption of rye foods. Novel results in this regard are presented in this review.