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Swap whole grains for refined and reap greater health benefits: The substitution benefits metabolism, reduces body weight and adiposity, enhances health and may lead to longer life.

Whole grains (WG), comprising wheat, oats, rice, barley, and quinoa, among others, are a major food group recommended by international dietary guidelines because of grains' association with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

More Evidence That WG Are Good for You. New evidence from a study at Tufts University shows that people who consume recommended amounts of WG (three servings, or 48 grams/1.69 ounces daily) have reduced body mass index and adiposity, and a lower prospective body weight gain compared to people who eat refined grains (RG). The higher fiber content of whole grains is thought to help suppress appetite, improve glycemic control and insulin sensitivity, and benefit the gut microbiome composition.

The study from Tufts' Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging suggests the mechanism involved in digesting WG increases calorie loss by speeding up metabolism and by reducing calories retained during digestion.

WGs Trump RGs. Participants in the eight-week study ate no WG for the first two weeks, and thereafter were randomized into either a WG group or an RG group. Those on the WG diet lost about an extra 100 calories/day due to increased resting metabolic rate, and had greater fecal losses compared to the RG group (RGs don't have much fiber). The researchers suggested that the results are due to the effect that the fiber had on the digestibility of other food consumed. Researchers noted that the study used commercial whole-grain flour products and suggested that using whole-grain kernels might produce an even greater benefit.

Whole-Grain Rewards. Numerous studies have shown that whole grains, in the context of an overall healthy diet plan, reduce risk of stroke, diabetes, heart disease, colorectal cancer, asthma, inflammatory disease, and periodontal disease. In addition, whole-grain consumption contributes to healthier blood pressure levels and better weight maintenance. Whole grains contain protein, fiber, B vitamins (thiamine, niacin, folate), antioxidants, iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium.


about whole grains

To be called a whole grain, the grain must be intact, and contain the bran, germ, and endosperm. Refined grains go through a milling process that removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins, thus removing many of the nutrients.

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Title Annotation:NUTRITION & FITNESS
Publication:Duke Medicine Health News
Date:May 1, 2017
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