Grains Are Good For Weight Loss
Carbohydrate-rich grains – especially whole grains – are great for weight management. In addition to their energy content, most are medium in calorie-content, rich in dietary fiber to boost satiety levels, and useful sources of dietary nutrients to help maintain an efficient metabolism. A good food option for anyone interested in weight loss or weight maintenance.
Nutritional Benefits of Grains
Grains (eg. barley, buckwheat, bulgur, couscous, millet, oats, rice, semolina, wheat) are rich sources of several B-complex vitamins, as well as vitamin E, starchy carbohydrates, minerals and dietary fiber. Wholegrain varieties typically have a low-GI value for better blood glucose control. Although some refined white grains (eg. white bread) have vitamins and other micronutrients added during processing, they are less nutritious than wholegrains.
Breakfast cereals are typically heavily processed foods, and most of their original micronutrients, like vitamins or minerals, are removed during the food-processing. However, most breakfast cereals are fortified with added vitamins and minerals, making them a convenient source of most B-vitamins, vitamin D and several minerals including iron. Wholegrain breakfast cereals (eg. granola, muesli, oats) are typically rich in natural B-vitamins, soluble fiber (which helps to lower cholesterol) and have a lower GI-value than regular refined cereals.
Pasta (eg. macaroni, spaghetti) is not a rich source of micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, but some types (eg. whole wheat pasta) do contain useful amounts of viamin B2, vitamin B3 and certain minerals. On the other hand, pasta is a rich source of slower-burning carbohydrates which have a low-GI value for better blood glucose management. Pasta is a very useful base for relatively low calorie meals in any weight loss diet plan.
Grains To Eat in a 1600 Calorie Weight Loss Diet
The latest Dietary Guidelines (2005) recommend 5 ounces of grains per day, of which at least half should be whole grains. According to the suggested diet plans, one ounce is equivalent to:
– 1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, or cooked cereal
– 1 ounce dry pasta or rice
– 1 slice bread
– 1 small muffin (1 oz)
– 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal flakes
Other Healthy Carbohydrates To Help Weight Loss
Beans are not an ideal source of vitamins, although typically they do contain several B vitamins (eg. folate), some vitamin A and a variety of minerals. However, they are a good lower-fat protein source and are rich in healthy dietary fiber. In addition, beans help to lower cholesterol levels due to their content of soluble fiber. Also, their low-GI value helps to improve blood glucose management in diabetics (type 1 and type 2 diabetes) and patients suffering from insulin resistance. Soybeans also help to protect against certain hormone-linked cancers, due to the phytoestrogens they contain.
Soy foods (eg. soybeans, beancurd [tofu]) contain certain B vitamins (B3, B6), vitamin E and a variety of minerals. Soy food is also rich in low fat protein. In addition, soybeans contain phytochemicals known as “phytoestrogens” (isoflavones) that help protect again hormone-linked cancers (eg. breast, ovarian and cervical cancer), osteoporosis and symptoms of menopause. Soybean food, like soy milk and tofu, can also help to reduce LDL cholesterol.