Grains can be called whole grains when they contain all three key parts of the seed – the bran, germ and endosperm. Whole grains can be classified into two categories – cereals and pseudocereals.
Health benefits of whole grains – Whole grains can help in weight loss | Photo Credit: Getty Images New Delhi: Whole grains make an important part of a balanced diet. Most diseases are caused due to improper nutrition and an imbalanced diet, or because of obesity, which stems from an improper diet. Including whole grains in your diet can have a lot of health benefits for your body. From heart diseases to diabetes, a lot of diseases can be controlled by the consumption of whole grains. A study published in the Lancet in 2019 has found that a low intake of whole grains is a leading cause of death and disease in the US.
Whole grains can also help in weight loss. Weight loss requires you to practise a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and stay clear of oily and junk food. Whole grains are a great food to include in your diet if you are trying to lose weight and then maintain it. What is the difference between a whole grain and a refined grain?
A ‘grain’ is the edible seed of the plant. When we say “whole grain” we mean it literally, and imply that the grain contains all three key parts of the seed – the bran, germ and endosperm. Whole grains can be classified into two categories – cereals and pseudocereals. Cereal grains come from cereal grasses like wheat, oats, rice, corn, etc. while pseudocereal grains are cooked and consumed similarly, but are not obtained from grasses. These grains include quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth.
Refined grains are obtained when the grains are milled, and the bran and germ of the seed are removed. This gives the grain a good texture, improves shelf life, but removes dietary fibre and other important nutrients. How do whole grains help in weight loss?
While every weight loss diet expert will ask you to cut on your carbohydrates, especially if they are recommending the Keto diet, there are some carbs that you must include in your diet. Whole grains are loaded with fibre and thus keep you full for longer. The feeling of satiety can help to avoid over-eating and cravings that can lead to an intake of a lot of extra calories. Fibre is also responsible in regulating blood sugar, which avoids dips of sugar that can cause sugar cravings, leading to excess eating.
The fibre present in the whole grains also interacts with the good bacteria and can help in keeping hunger pangs away. Studies also show that maintaining weight is easier if you eat whole grains. People who eat whole grains regularly tend to have lesser body fat and gain less weight over time compared to people who eat whole grains rarely.
You can consume whole grains in your diet and most conveniently in your breakfast meal. A breakfast meal of cereals, whole grain bread, etc. can provide you with the whole grains content for the day. During the lunch, you can eat sandwiches made with whole grain bread, or have brown rice instead of white. For dinner, a bowl of quinoa is a good idea, or if you want to stick to desi food, chapatis and lentils are also a good option.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.
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