Some popular sources are promoting the elimination of whole grains for weight loss, but does it work? Should you eliminate grains?
The Answer: Eat Whole Grains but Eliminate Refined Grains
Refined Grains vs. Whole Grains
Refined grains are grains that no longer contain the bran and germ, as they were removed during the process of milling. As a result, refined grains are low in fiber, protein, and other nutrients you would expect to get from a whole grain, but they are still high in carbohydrates and raise your blood sugar relatively quickly. Some examples of refined grains include white bread, white pasta, white crackers and most baked goods.
Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel, including the bran, germ and endosperm. Whole grains are high in B vitamins, protein and fiber. Due to the fiber content, their impact on your blood sugar is less significant. Some examples of whole grains are brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat, bulgur wheat and products made with 100% of these grains (like a 100% whole wheat pasta).
5 Reasons to Eat Whole Grains
#1. Whole grains are high in fiber, which can help keep you fuller for longer.
#2. Whole grains are delicious and satisfying!
#3. Whole grains promote healthy gut bacteria. Researchers are currently looking into the relationship between healthy gut bacteria and weight loss, with some results indicating weight loss and a healthier body weight in people with healthier gut bacteria populations.
#5. Whole grains do not cause you to gain weight and may even help you lose weight. In fact, high whole grain consumption is associated with a lower body mass index!
5 Reasons to Eliminate Refined Grains
#1. Eliminating refined grains and focusing on all of your grains being whole grains can help you lose weight.
#2. They increase your blood sugar relatively quickly compared with other foods.
#3. Due to their low fiber content, they are not very filling and they don’t keep you feeling satisfied for long.
#4. The offer very little nutritional benefit.
#5. To promote optimal health, refined grains should make up absolutely no more than half of the grains that you eat, according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines.
Keep in mind that eating anything in excess can lead to weight gain. Excessive calorie intake, regardless of where the calories come from, will cause you to gain weight. For more nutrition-related articles and weight loss tips, check out our blog.
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Written by Cassandra Towns, RDN, LDN, CD, CLC