Study Links Whole Grain Diet to Reduced Body Weight and Inflammation
It’s been established for a while that whole grains are healthier than refined grains, but their effect on the body hasn’t been well documented. Now the largest study of its kind has found that switching from processed and refined grains to whole grains helps reduce body weight and reduce systemic low-grade inflammation.
Participants in the study included 50 people. Half of the group was instructed consumed an all whole grain diet. This was followed by a six-week period where they consumed their habitual diet, then another eight weeks where all the grains they ate were refined. The other half did the same intervention, in the opposite order.
At the conclusion of the study, blood tests showed that participants had less inflammation in their bodies when they were eating the whole grains. They also ate less when consuming whole grains and generally lost weight, probably because whole grain consumption causes satiety.
The researchers also used DNA analysis to analyze stool samples in order to determine whether or not the dietary changes effected their gut microbiota. No major changes were found.
Researchers from the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on November 1, 2017, in the journal Gut.
Whole grains are full of vitamin B, dietary fiber and iron, all of which have been shown to provide numerous health benefits, including reductions in the risk of stroke, diabetes, heart disease and inflammatory disease. The increased popularity of these grains has also increased the range of products available that contain them, such as pasta, sandwich bread, and cereals.