In the numerous studies available to us so far, whole grains have consistently proven to be superior to refined ones.
The so-called Wholefoods and fiber are known to have more health benefits, such as better glycemic control and improved insulin sensitivity. However, the scientific community did not agree on whether whole grains and fiber could directly help regulate weight.
What foods are considered whole grains?
Only whole grains can offer us the “whole package” of benefits from a particular grain because unlike refined ones, they are not subject to processes in which certain important parts will be removed, ie parts rich with different nutrients.
All whole grains are made up of 3 parts: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. Each of these components is a source of unique nutrients.
The bran is especially rich in fiber, B vitamins, various minerals (iron, copper, zinc, magnesium), but also various other phytonutrients, including antioxidant compound.
The germ is rich in healthy fats, B vitamins, vitamin E, and many other phytonutrients. On the other hand, the inner part of the grain or endosperm is a source of starch (complex carbohydrates), proteins, but in a much smaller amount of micronutrients that other parts of the grain are rich in.
Each of the mentioned, important nutrients, has its range of positive effects on our health.
Whole-grain foods: wholemeal rice, wholemeal bread or whole grains, oats, wholemeal pasta, barley, millet, etc.
Something more about research
The mentioned new research was conducted in 2 months, on over 80 respondents, age between 40 and 65 years. All volunteers had pre-prepared meals according to the specialized method of the study.
For the first two weeks, each individual had the same diet, and then they were divided into 2 groups – one with a whole grain diet, the other with refined cereal foods. The goal was for the only difference in diet between the two groups to be the type of cereal. Each volunteer in both groups had the same meal structure, energy intake, and macronutrient composition of portions.
The researchers then compared the effects of whole-grain and refined cereal foods on metabolic rate, the amount of energy lost through feces, and the feeling of satiety. Bodyweight, basal metabolism (BMR), blood sugar, and similar relevant parameters were also measured for the purposes of the study.
Basal metabolism (BMR) tells us how many minimum calories we need to eat in order for the vital and other functions of the body to take place.
Increased intake of whole foods and fiber increases calorie burning throughout the day!
The results of the study led to the following conclusions: regular consumption of whole foods, in addition to improving sugar levels and making you feel fuller in smaller portions, will also lead to faster metabolism at rest, as well as greater “loss” of calories through feces. What does this mean in a simpler way?
Respondents who consumed whole grains (most of the carbohydrate intake) and fiber (at least 30 grams per day) in the amounts recommended by several relevant health institutions, lost almost 100 calories more per day, compared to those who instead of whole grains, had refined cereal foods.
These “extra” calories are worth as much as the calories burned, for example, during a moderate walking of half an hour.
This would mean that not only will whole-grain foods saturate us faster, lower the total glycemic index of the food we eat in a meal and promote a feeling of fullness, but it will also allow us to burn extra calories. On top of all this, whole grain fiber is a “fuel” for the proper growth, development, and reproduction of our beneficial microflora. We are increasingly receiving information from the scientific world that this balance, directly and indirectly, affects many aspects of human health.
J Philip Karl, Mohsen Meydani, Junaidah B Barnett, Sally M Vanegas, Barry Goldin, Anne Kane, Helen Rasmussen, Edward Saltzman, Pajau Vangay, Dan Knights, C-Y Oliver Chen, Sai Krupa Das, Satya S Jonnalagadda, Simin N Meydani, Susan B Roberts, 08 February 2017, The American Journal of CLINICAL NUTRITION