Summer 2017

Go with the Grain

How fiber-rich carbs could help you lose weight.

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Photo: ingimage

Having trouble losing those last five pounds? Consider the power of whole grains. According to a Tufts study, substituting whole grains for refined grains in your diet makes you burn more calories—as well as skip the digestion of other calories—for a total loss of about 100 calories per day.

First author J. Philip Karl, NG14, and senior author Susan Roberts, director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts, randomly assigned 81 men and women between the ages of 40 and 65 to eat a diet that included either whole grains or refined grains, but were otherwise basically identical.

After six weeks of eating the food, which was provided to them, the whole-grain eaters had a resting metabolic rate about 43 calories per day higher than the refined-grain eaters. They also lost an extra 57 calories per day in their stool. Over the course of a year, that would add up to a weight loss of more than 5 pounds. (A related study also showed a modestly better immune response in the whole-grain group; both studies appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.)

The findings, Karl said, “lend credibility to previously reported associations between increased whole grains and fiber consumption, lower body weight and better health.”

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