Ditching belly fat is a matter of replacing enriched grains with whole grains
Enriched grains are ones in which the husk and bran are removed, leaving the easy-to-cook with low-fiber-grain and then adding chemical vitamins and minerals. Are these enriched grains healthy for you? No.
Hopefully, you are already eating whole grains for their heart-healthy powers. Now recent research on their belly-fat-busting abilities should vault whole grains to the top of your grocery list.
In fact, the more whole grains you use to replace refined grains, the better off your waistline will be. In a new study where scientists reviewed the diets of close to 3,000 men and women, they found a strong correlation between belly fat and grain choice. The whole-grain lovers tended to have less belly fat than refined-grain buyers — and had smaller waists, too. But eating more whole grains had a fat-curbing effect only when it was combined with a low intake of refined grains. So eating that whole-grain cereal at breakfast doesn’t mean you can slack off and have the white-bread sandwich at lunchtime.
Is there a magic number?
So, how many whole-grain servings a day do you need to stay slim? Researchers think at least three servings daily is a good goal. That can be achieved with half a cup of steel-cut oatmeal in the morning and a couple of slices of whole-grain bread for your sandwich at lunch. But be careful when buying what is advertised as whole-grain bread. Find a loaf that’s high in fiber (often with 4 grams per slice). Researchers suspect the waist-friendly qualities of whole-grain products come, in part, from the appetite-steadying fiber found inside. Whole grains also have lots of magnesium, which is good for improving insulin sensitivity.
Is whole grain easy to find?
Only when you read labels when you go shopping. Don’t expect those warm muffins at the restaurant will be whole grain. Nor the bread or bread sticks they offer. How about rice? White rice is not whole grain and it is what you will find at most Chinese restaurants. You can ask for whole grain, but the author has found that when he asks, they just don’t have it. The benefit of eating at home is that you do know what you are eating (if you read food labels carefully).
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