More brown rice, please! Researchers at Penn State found diets that include high amounts of whole grains may help weight loss, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The team conducted a study on 50 obese adults known to have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and assigned them to random groups. One group focused on whole grains, and the other group consumed refined grains. Both groups received the same dietary advice on weight loss and exercise.
At the end of the 12 weeks, waist circumference and body weight decreased significantly in both groups, but weight loss in the abdominal region was significantly greater in the whole grain group.
Lead author Heather Katcher said that the whole grain group experienced a 38 percent decrease in C-reactive protein levels, a high level of which is thought to place patients at a higher risk for diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Participants in the whole grain group also showed an increased intake of fiber and magnesium, both of which may prevent or delay the potential onset of diabetes.
Another team member suggested people opt for whole grain foods where at least 51 percent of the grain comes from whole grain, such as oatmeal, whole grain cereal, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and snacks including granola bars, popcorn and whole-wheat crackers.
The study's findings are published in the January 2008 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.