By: Nancy Godwin
A new research by the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, has found that eating more whole grains reduces consumption and encourages weight loss in adults. The research sought to observe the effects of replacing refined grains in meals like bread and pasta with whole grains.
The results revealed a good number of health benefits in consuming whole grains. Before listing them out, let’s break down the difference between whole and refined grains.
What are whole grains?
Whole grains contain the whole of the grain kernel, including the bran and germ. Refined grains remove these parts to give the grain a smoother texture and a longer shelf life. The process of refining, however, strips the grain of important nutrients. Examples of whole grains include buckwheat, barley, bulgur, oats, brown rice and millet.
To meet your body's needs and reach optimal health, make sure that at least half the grains in your diet are whole grains. Below are the main benefits of Eating Whole Grains:
1. It helps control weight gain
One significant finding in the research is that consuming whole grains helped participants lose weight. Whole grains take longer to digest because of their high fiber content and this causes satiety for much longer.
Other epidemiological studies done in the US also supports this claim. Three studies found that adults who had a higher intake of whole grains, specifically 3 servings per day, also had a smaller waist circumference and a lower BMI.
2. Reduces the risk of developing diabetes
The research also revealed that consuming whole grains reduced inflammation in the body. Rye in particular seemed to have the most effect on inflammatory markers in the blood. Inflammation occurs as a result of an infection in the body. But when there are elevated levels of inflammation without an infection, there is an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Whole grains also help to reduce blood sugar. A meta-analysis revealed that increasing the daily intake of whole grains by 2 servings decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 21%. People with pre-diabetes are particularly advised to eat more whole grains as a way to prevent the progress of the disease.
3. Whole grains contain a lot of fiber
Whole grains contain more than double the amount of fiber than refined grains. Two slices of rye bread can supply as much as 5.8g of fiber while the same amount of white bread only supplies 1.9g. As for rice, a half cup of raw brown rice contains 5.5g of fiber while the same amount of white rice contains only 2g.
Fiber is a vital nutrient for the body. It improves bowel movement, controls blood sugar, and reduces the risk of developing colon cancer. The average adult needs at least 25g of fiber daily.
4. Decreases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases
Epidemiological studies have shown that increasing consumption of whole grains in your diet can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The main reason for this is that whole grains help reduce cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.
A community study observed that people who ate 3 servings of whole grain foods daily had a 28% lesser chance of developing coronary artery disease. Another study also observed a 7% lower risk of heart failure in people who consumed more whole grains than refined grains.
5) Whole Grains Contain Several Nutrients
Whole grains may not be fortified with nutrients like refined grains, but they can still supply a good amount of it. Additional, less common, types of whole grain include teff, amaranth, and bran.
Teff is a type of whole grain native to Ethiopia. It contains about 123 mg of calcium in one cup, which is equivalent to a half-cup of cooked spinach. Amaranth is another type of whole grain that is packed with vitamin c, iron, and protein. Bran, the outer layer of cereal that is often removed during processing, is a great source of vitamin B.
Featured Image: Naturally Ella
Nancy Godwin is a freelance health writer who is passionate about creating informative and entertaining health content. Her educational background in anatomy and physiology gives her a broad base from which to approach many health topics. She especially enjoys researching and writing about food, nutrition, and its impact on the body condition. You may learn more about her services at fabcontentwriter.com.