Cutting calories and filling up on whole grains may be good for the heart because it reduces abdominal obesity, suggests new research.
In this study, 50 obese adults at risk of heart disease were asked to cut calories for 12-weeks. Half the participants were told to eat more whole grains, while the other half ate refined grains.
While both groups lost weight, people who ate more whole-grains showed a greater loss of fat around the middle.
Blood levels of C- reactive protein were 38 percent lower in people who ate more whole grains, as compared to those who ate refined grains.
Excess abdominal fat and high levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of chronic, low-level inflammation, are linked to heart attack and stroke.
Many studies report the benefits of eating whole grains - oatmeal, brown rice and barley - rather than refined grains, like white bread and other products made from white flour.
Researchers believe that fiber-rich whole grain foods may help keep blood sugar levels more stable throughout the day, leading to lower levels of C-reactive protein. The antioxidant nutrients, like vitamin E and selenium, in whole grains may also play a role in reducing inflammation.
The researchers recommend looking at labels and choosing products that are a good source of fiber and at least 51 percent whole grain.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.