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We Now Know WHY Whole Grains Are Good

Nutritionists, doctors and scientists have long told us that eating Whole Grains is good for us. But, until now, we have had only minimal evidence as to why Whole Grains are good and how good they are. Turns out, the benefits of eating whole grains go much farther than simply eating your Bran Flakes…

Whole Grain Foods © zoeharcombe.comBread and Cereal are just two foods that we can ‘go Whole Grain’ on. Puffs (also pictured),
Pasta, Rice, Cookies, Crackers and other foods are also Whole Grain ‘naturals’.

We all know that eating whole grains is better for us than eating products made with processed, bleached White Flour. And Brown Rice is better than White Rice. But most of us will have thought that the difference is in the fibre content – the Bran and Germ components. Well, Danish researchers have gone much farther than that in analyzing why Whole Grains are so good for us.

The study followed a group of 50 people who were considered at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes or Heart Disease. Overweight or obesity was a factor in the assessment of risk and also turned out to be linked to the findings of the study.

What they did…

The study group was divided in half randomly and one half was given a Whole Grain diet for six weeks while the other was given a Processed Grains diet. Then, they switched the two sub groups and gave each the other diet for six more weeks.

Researchers made detailed examinations of subjects’ blood during the study period and came to some interesting conclusions.

What they found…

First, they found that those on the Whole Grains diet ate less. That directly effects overweight and obesity favourably. It’s the principle of portion control. But, while that’s easy to recommend, people – especially those who like to eat – find it difficult to practice. Anyway…

Researchers also found that those on the Whole Grains diet also had fewer ‘inflammation markers’ in their blood. That is, substances in the blood that usually indicate the presence of an infection. The subjects no infections, but they still had low but significant levels of these substances in their systems. This phenomenon is particularly common in overweight people, researchers noted. And it has already been linked to the development of Type 2 Diabetes.

The bottom line…

Whole Grains really are best for us, both in obvious ways that we sort of realized before, but also in subtle, fundamental ways that affect our cardiac and overall system health. Which Grain is best? The Danish researchers found that Rye had the most profound effect on reducing inflammation markers in the blood. But they say more studies are in order, to determine which Whole Grains are most effective in maintaining good health.

Now you know!

Eat more Whole Grain Pasta and Breads. Enjoy your Bran Flakes or Oat Meal at breakfast. Try Brown Rice or other Whole Grains as the starch in your main mail o0f the day. There really are substantial benefits to going Whole Grain and leaving refined grains behind!

~ Maggie J.