Eating whole grains regularly has been shown to offer a wide range of undisputed health benefits. They are full of nutrients including protein, B vitamins, fiber, trace minerals, and antioxidants. The most common groups of whole grain foods include whole grain corn, popcorn, whole oats/oatmeal, brown rice, whole rye triticale, millet, sorghum, and buckwheat. Whole grains generally contain all edible parts of a grain such as the germ, bran layer, and endosperm.

Eating a diet full of whole grains has been shown to minimize the risk of developing heart disease, obesity, type-2 diabetes, and mortality. But perhaps the most sought after benefit of eating whole grain foods nowadays is their ability to aid in weight loss. Although scientists are yet to gunner a solid agreement on this, numerous studies have indicated that regular consumption of whole grain foods can actually help you lose weight.

Whole grain foods and weight loss

In a study to investigate the effects of whole grains and refined grains on fecal energy losses and resting metabolic rate, 81 men and women were subjected to either whole grain or refined grain. At the end of the 8-week study, researchers discovered that participants who ate the whole-grain diet experienced an increase in the fecal energy losses and resting metabolic rate compared to those who ate refined grains. In essence, the increase in metabolic rate translates to calorie loss.

Numerous other studies have also supported the idea that switching from refined to whole grain diet can help individuals achieve their weight loss goals. Generally, whole grain foods contain just about 500 calories per pound. This means you can eat them until you are full but you will still be within the recommended calorie intake. In addition, the high level of fiber in these foods helps to reduce the amount of calories retained in your system during digestion.

Another study published by Harland J and Garton LE revealed that eating fiber-rich foods such as whole grains can help fill you up and prevent overeating. The report indicates that whole grain foods can reduce your risk of developing obesity.

Whole grain foods and mortality 

Another benefit of eating whole grains that has been cited numerously in the recent past that it reduces the rate of mortality. Hongyu Wu, PhD and other researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA analyzed several studies to investigate the impact of consuming whole grain foods to mortality rates and risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

Researchers noted that higher consumption of whole grains was linked to reduced risk of overall mortality as well as a lower risk of CVD mortality. More specifically, a 28g serving of whole grain was linked to 5% reduction in total mortality risk. The studies also support the current dietary recommendations of increasing the consumption of whole grains to facilitate prevention of chronic diseases and promote an extended life expectancy.

Superior Health Benefits

Grains are generally made up of three parts, the germ, bran layers, and endosperm. Unlike whole grains, refined grains usually have the germ and bran layers removed, which takes away most of the health benefits. Whole grains are thought to have superior health benefits compared to refined grains. They have been associated with improved weight maintenance, reduced blood cholesterol, reduced mortality rates, reduced risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and type-2 diabetes, and reduced obesity.

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers, a program that helps you feel better from the inside out, recommends choosing whole-grain foods. Weight Watchers is endorsed by many experts, dietitians and doctors due to its many clinical studies that prove its effectiveness as a weight loss method. Weight Watchers guidelines say that it’s a good practice to make at least half of the grains consumed whole grains.

Author's Bio: 

Matt Gavard is a health writer. If you are looking to save on a award winning weight loss meal delivery program, Matt recommends BistroMD. Matt offers a BistroMD coupon so that you pay half price.