Posted on Apr 03, 2012, 6 a.m.
Not only may a diet that includes whole grains help to facilitate weight loss, but it may aid in reducing body fat and improving cholesterol levels as well.
Nutritional experts recommend that adults consume at least half of all grains as whole grains – which includes the bran, germ, and endosperm portions of the grain kernel. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) enrolled 79 overweight/obese postmenopausal women in a 12 week long study. Each subject was assigned to consume and energy restricted diet consisting of either refined or whole-grain wheat products. At the end of the study term, both diets resulted in weight loss –the greater loss was observed in the whole-grain group, with subjects dropping an average of 3.6 kg, as compared to 2.7 kg on the refined wheat diet. The whole-grain diet group experienced an average 3% reduction of body fat, where as the refined wheat diet group experienced 2.1% reduction. Total and LDL (low-density lipoprotein, "bad") cholesterol increased by about 5% in the refined wheat diet group, whereas no such changes were observed in the whole-grain group. Taken collectively, the study authors submit that the physiological changes experience with whole grain diets "suggest a cardioprotective role for whole grain.”
Mette Kristensen, Soren Toubro, Morten Georg Jensen, Alastair B. Ross, Giancarlo Riboldi, Arne Astrup, et al. “Whole Grain Compared with Refined Wheat Decreases the Percentage of Body Fat Following a 12-Week, Energy-Restricted Dietary Intervention in Postmenopausal Women,” J. Nutr. April 2012,142: 710-716.