Posted on Mon, 22 Nov 10
Fat around the middle is associated with serious health risks and refined grain foods may be the reason you have a wide waist. On the flip side, switching to whole grains may help trim down your tummy.
To see if whole vs. refined grains had different effects on body fat distribution some 2800 people were studied for associations between the type of grains they ate and where they were carrying fat on their body.
It was found that fat around the middle (visceral adipose tissue) “was 10.1% lower in individuals consuming approximately 3 servings of whole grains a day compared with those who essentially consumed no whole grains, even after accounting for other lifestyle and dietary factors.” Importantly it was also found that “this beneficial association may be negated by higher refined-grain intake.”
Current dietary recommendations allow half of all grains eaten each day to be refined (e.g. white pasta, white bread, white rice, and white flour). Going against the grain and replacing refined grains with whole grain foods (e.g. whole meal bread, whole grain pasta, brown rice, rolled oats) may lower your waist line and disease risk.
1. McKeown NM, Troy LM, Jacques PF, et al. Whole- and refined-grain intakes are differentially associated with abdominal visceral and subcutaneous adiposity in healthy adults: the Framingham Heart Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Nov;92(5):1165-71.