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IMA Wellness Blog

Manage Weight by Eating More Whole Grain

by Grant Moos

General Mills Inc. is an IMA member food company…

If you’re interested in improving your overall health – including managing your weight – you might consider increasing the amount of whole grain in your diet.

A study found that people who ate a diet with whole grains, which also met the recommended daily level of fiber, lost close to an extra 100 calories per day compared with those who ate refined grains (like white bread and white rice) without much fiber.

Over a year, that could add up to five pounds, but weight loss among the 81 men and women in the study was not measured.

“If nothing else, eating whole grains might help people slow the steady weight gain that bedevils most people as they age,” Phil Karl, the first author of the study and a nutrition scientist at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, told NBC News.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was performed in partnership between Tufts University and the General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition (BIHN) to help quantify how whole grain and fiber work to benefit weight management. The BIHN provided partial funding for the study and BIHN scientists contributed as part of the research team.

“This is a well-designed randomized clinical study that adds to the very strong body of evidence on whole grain,” said Maha Tahiri, our vice president and chief health and wellness officer, who leads the BIHN.

The study is the latest among four additional publications that summarized more than 75 individual studies that clearly showcased the benefits of a higher intake of whole grain.

Those studies found that higher whole grain intake was associated with a lower risk of premature death from all causes, including cancer and heart disease. One full serving (16 grams) increase in whole grain intake resulted in a reduced risk of premature death by 7 percent.

And 50 grams of whole grain compared with no whole grain intake reduced the risk of premature death by 20 percent.


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