Many people are confused about what to eat because of the mixed message of whole grains. The benefits of fiber are widely accepted, but why don’t whole grains have too many carbohydrates to fit a healthy diet? How about weight loss? This is what the study has to say.
Whole-grain vs. Refined grain
Understanding the difference between whole grains and refined grains is the first step in understanding research. Whole grains retain all of their original ingredients. In fact, all three parts are needed to be considered a whole grain. For example, whole wheat contains endosperm, bran (high fiber outer layer), and germ (rich in vitamin E). Refined grains, on the other hand, are stripped of these nutritious layers and are therefore rich in simple starch, generally low in fiber and other key nutrients.
Examples of whole grains include quinoa, oatmeal, whole wheat flour, popcorn, and brown rice. Grains such as freaks, wheat berries, and faro are whole grains that have become increasingly popular in recent years. Fortified flour, white rice, and white bread are examples of refined grains.
What the study says
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) collects extensive data on food patterns for children and adults across the United States. When examining NHANES data, researchers found that eating whole grains rather than refined grains significantly improved the intake of fiber and other beneficial nutrients. ..
In addition, both children and adults who meet whole-grain intake recommendations have been shown to have a low body mass index (BMI), a low likelihood of being overweight or obese, and a low waist circumference. However, it is important to remember the portion size.
Cereals are a healthy food, but eating too much can lead to weight gain. One serving of whole-grain bread is one slice. When consuming whole grains, 1/2-3/4 cup is 1 serving. When eating rice or pasta, about 1/2 cup is for one serving.
Replacing processed grains with whole grains also seems to offer health benefits beyond weight loss. A 2012 study classified 79 overweight and obese postmenopausal women into two distinct groups. Both groups had a calorie-restricted diet, one eating whole grains, and one eating refined grains. The same amount of weight was lost in both groups, but the percentage of fat mass was significantly reduced in the whole-grain group. In addition, the refined grain group had increased LDL (bad cholesterol). Apart from weight loss, whole grains have a positive effect on body composition.
A large review of the whole grain study confirmed this observation. There seems to be a consensus that replacing refined grains with whole grains will reduce body fat, even if the weight does not change. It points out important angles to consider when assessing health based on weight alone. The numbers on the scale do not tell the whole story. Choosing whole grains over refined grains can affect your body as well as your weight, including loss of fat. Both low-fat mass and low LDL cholesterol are beneficial changes in heart health.
Add whole grains
If you’re not currently eating grains, adding whole grains to your diet plan can help increase your total fiber intake. Fiber has well-proven benefits for weight loss. By increasing satiety and helping digestion, fiber plays an important role in sustainable weight loss. There is no reason to exclude grains from your diet unless you have been diagnosed with a condition that limits grain intake (or if you decide for personal reasons to use a low-carb diet). The key to eating grains is choosing the right type of grain and the right portion size.
Here are some ideas for incorporating more whole grains (and fiber) into your life.
Please prepare whole-grain oatmeal for breakfast.
For maximum nutrition from a whole grain breakfast, choose sugar-free steel-cut oats or classic oats. Add a serving berry and chopped nuts for a complete breakfast. Or, for further serving in one serving, try cooking in a “growing oatmeal” style.
Whole-grain cracker snack.
Inspect for whole-grain crackers with manageable ingredients and lots of fiber. Stack them with vegetables, avocado, nut butter, or hummus. For high protein sandwich alternatives, add tomato slices, yellow mustard, and turkey slices. Keep in mind that one serving of crackers is usually about 4 crackers.
Wrap a whole-grain flatbread around the sandwich fixture.
Instead of white bread or fluffy rolls, use whole grain wraps or flatbreads to fill your stomach longer. Check the word “whole grain” in the ingredient list on the food label.