In good news for bakers, two large-scale studies have concluded that whole grains can lengthen your life and reduce disease risk.

A study in the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal), found that consumption of whole grains was associated with a reduction in the risk for death from cancer, coronary heart disease, respiratory disease, infectious disease and diabetes.

Using data from 45 studies, researchers calculated that compared with eating no whole grains at all, eating 90 grams of whole grains a day reduced the risk for “all-cause mortality” by 17%.

The other analysis, in Circulation, a magazine published by the American Heart Association, used data from 14 prospective studies with 786,076 participants in total, and found that compared with those who ate the least whole grain foods, those who ate the most had a 16% reduced risk for all-cause mortality, and an 18% reduced risk for cardiovascular mortality. Each 16 gram increase in whole grain intake reduced mortality risk by 7%.

A slice of 100% whole grain bread contains about 16 grams of whole grains, and current UK government dietary guidelines recommend 48 grams or more of whole grains daily.