Bye Bye, Belly Rolls: Slimming Down with Whole Grains

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More brown rice, please!

New research shows that filling up on whole grains may be better for your belly as well as your heart. A recent clinical study at Penn State reports that whole grains have helped dieters lose more abdominal fat and improve levels of inflammation that are linked to reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The researchers in the Penn State study recruited fifty obese adults who live with a metabolic syndrome. Two groups were created: one group focused on whole grains, and the other group consumed refined grains. Both groups received the same dietary advice on weight loss and exercise.

The study found that those who trimmed calories and increased their whole-grain intake shed more belly fat and lowered their blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP is a chronic, low-level inflammation in the blood levels. When CRP and abdominal fat are in excess, there is a link to heart attack and stroke. In this study, the scale of CRP reduction in the whole-grain group was similar to that seen with the use of statin drugs. More proof of how powerful our diets are to the health and happiness in our life. In contrast, dieters who mainly ate refined grains, such as white bread, were able to lose weight, but they trimmed less body fat from the middle and showed no change in CRP.

Those once fashionable low/no carbohydrate diets are dying out. I’m so excited, because my clients won’t be the only ones enjoying the rich taste, balanced lifestyle, and nutrients that the various grains give your body. Whole grains are one of the best sources of dietary fiber. They are an excellent source of the B-vitamin complex, which are necessary for healthy nerves. So if you’re nervous, eat up! Whole grains are so complete that incorporating more good quality grains in your diet helps balance your body and your life.

When shopping for whole-grain products eyeball the labels carefully. “There are a lot of foods around that claim they contain whole grains, but are not really major sources of whole grains,” cautions Penny Kris-Etherton, a researcher on the study. She suggests looking for the products with “whole grain” listed as the first ingredient on the label. As a general rule, buy products that are at least 51 percent whole grain.

Originally published on Intent


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