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Benefits of a whole grain diet
Are you one of those people who would like to lose weight and then want to maintain a healthy body weight? There seems to be an easy and reliable way to achieve your goals. Researchers have now found that changing your diet to whole grains has the same effect on your weight as walking about 30 minutes a day.
Scientists at Tufts University in Boston found that whole grains help us stay slim and develop less body fat. The doctors published the results of their study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Whole grains reduce calories and boost metabolism
Whole grains appear to both reduce the number of calories consumed during digestion and boost the speed of human metabolism, the author of the study explains. J. Philip Karl from Tufts University.
Doctors determine the exact calorie needs of subjects
It is difficult to separate the effects of a whole grain diet from the effects of regular exercise and a healthier diet, the researchers say. For the new study, the scientists therefore only checked the nutrition of the participants. They did not try to make the subjects lose weight. For their investigation, the experts determined the specific calorie needs of 81 men and women aged 40 to 65.
Subjects are fed differently
During the first two weeks of the study, all participants ate the same type of food. The researchers then calculated each person's individual calorie needs to maintain weight. The subjects then received either a so-called refined diet or a diet with whole grain foods, the experts explain. The men and women were told that they should consume the food provided and continue their usual physical activities.
Benefits of a whole grain diet
When the subjects ingested whole grains, they absorbed fewer calories. In addition, these participants had an increased fecal expenditure, say the doctors. The resting metabolic rate (calories burned when the participant was at rest) was also increased. The fiber content of whole grain foods is about twice as high as that of refined foods. This effect probably plays a big role in the effects, explains Dr. Karl. The energy deficit of people who consumed whole grains was equivalent to the calories that people would normally burn when walking about 20 or 30 minutes.
It is unclear whether whole grains contribute to weight loss
However, the study could not clearly prove that whole grains can cause weight loss. In the long term, it remains unclear whether the effects of such a diet could contribute to weight loss, the researchers report. However, the team suspected that a diet with whole grains could lead to a reduced weight of around 2.3 kilograms.
Whole grain is an important part of a healthy eating plan
The new study provides good evidence that eating whole grains is an important part of a healthy eating plan. The study was short and somewhat limited in the diversity of the participating population, but the result is clearly a positive nutritional recommendation that everyone can benefit from, the experts explain.
Other benefits of a whole grain diet
In a similar study, the same group of researchers found that consumers of whole grain foods showed little improvement in healthy intestinal flora. In addition, certain immune responses also improved. In addition, a whole-grain diet could be linked to a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer, the doctors say. Another study published in the British Medical Journal had already shown that even small amounts of whole grains make us healthier.
Check that the products you buy really are 100 percent whole grain
But not every product that has wholegrain is made from 100 percent wholegrain. Therefore, before buying, check whether the main ingredient is wholegrain and really 100 percent wholegrain, the experts advise. Current dietary guidelines in the U.S. recommend eating six servings of grain a day. At least half of these servings should consist of whole grains. (as)