Grains for Weight Loss: Are They Good or Bad?
People often cut out certain items from their diet because they believe it will help them lose weight faster. Grain products have been one of the common foods eliminated because of the widespread belief that “carbohydrates make you fat”. Is this really true? Or can you eat grains for weight loss?
It’s important to note that not all grains are bad for you. Some grains are actually great for weight loss and shouldn’t be eliminated from a weight loss program.
“Whole grains” encompass a large group of essential cereal grains, namely wheat, oats, and rice. These grains are made into many products, such as flour, popcorn, bread, cereal and crackers. Whole grain products are better for you than their non-whole grain counterparts, because the refining process removes vital nutrients and fibers from the grains.
To compensate for the removal of these nutrients and fibers, refined grain products are usually “enriched” to make them more nutritious. They are then bleached of color and made into products like white bread, crackers, sugary cereals, and white rice.
Needless to say, these bleached, depleted grain products are not good for you, even if they have been enriched with certain nutrients. Enrichment cannot replace the natural nutrients and fibers that are found in whole grains.
One of the best moves you can make to boost your weight loss and improve your general well-being is to switch from white bread to whole grain wheat bread, from white rice to brown rice, and from refined white pasta to whole wheat pasta. This step alone would lower your risk for type II diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
Whole grains for weight loss are good especially because they are a fantastic source of fiber, which helps to support a healthy digestive system. It is also a helpful in preventing constipation and certain intestinal diseases. A high amount of fiber intake can help lead to a fast acting digestive system, raising your metabolism in the process and helping you to shed weight.
Oats are one of the best grains for weight loss, because they help to not only reduce weight due to their high fiber content and low calories, but they also help lower cholesterol. Oats are also high in protein, a necessary addition for anyone looking to increase their strength while lowering their body fat. Offered in numerous forms, oats are a great choice and an easy way to reach your daily intake for healthy whole grains.
One of the reasons why grains are good for weight loss is that they are very high in energy density. This means that you receive a lot of nutrients for a lower calorie cost. Foods high in energy density also generally keep you satisfied for longer.
Eating a well balanced diet of whole grain products can lead to a comfortably full stomach and efficient digestion – without a lot of excess calories.