New research out this week from Tufts University in the U.S. state of MA has highlighted more of the health benefits of whole grains.
This difference is about the same amount that would be burnt off by a brisk half-an-hour walk, experts discovered.
Although hunger and fullness were not statistically different between diets, results showed that participants who ate the diet with whole grains, which matched the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for fiber, lost almost an extra 100 calories per day than those on the refined grain diet which contained less fiber - equivalent to a brisk 30 min walk or enjoying an extra small cookie every day.
A new study by researchers at Tufts University that was published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compares how eating whole grains compared to refined grains effects can affect weight management for men and postmenopausal women.
For the remaining 6 weeks, 40 of the study participants continued with the Western-style diet that was rich in refined grains, while the remaining 41 participants were placed on a Western-style diet that was rich in whole grains.
Although improvements were modest, the results showed that those who ate the whole grain diet had an increase in Lachnospira, the bacteria that produces short-chain fatty acids, and a decrease in the pro-inflammatory bacteria, Enterbacteriaceae. This loss of calories was due to both a greater loss of fecal matter, as well as an increase in a person's resting metabolic rate.
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In the first two weeks, all the participants ate the same type of food and individual calorie needs were determined. The extra fecal energy losses were not due to the extra fiber itself (which was accounted for in calculations) but from the effect the fiber had on the digestibility of other food calories.
"The energy deficit in those eating whole grains compared to refined grains would be equivalent to the calories you would burn if you were to walk about a mile [in] about 20 or 30 minutes", he said. The health benefits of eating whole grain foods include curbing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer. "[You want] just whole grain flour, wheat flakes, brown rice, natural ingredients, not refined and white ones".
Study participants reported no statistically significant difference in feelings of hunger, fullness and satisfaction.
The researchers add that these beneficial effects were only generated because of a close adherence to the particular diet, and so, they include a word of caution regarding the interpretation of their findings. Often, this fiber heavy layer is removed during the refining process. But, it is reasonable to believe that people who work out tend to eat whole grains.
The 8-week study involved 81 healthy adults, all of whom consumed a Western-style diet high in refined grains for the first 2 weeks.
A food label issued by the Whole Grains Council may indicate the percentage of whole grains present in a product.