Grains and weight loss – the whole story!

Grains and Weight LossIt is no secret that most Australians would like to shed some unwanted kilos, however, with all of the mixed messages within the media these days how does one decipher what is the best approach to weight loss? One particular theme within the media that is also generally spruiked by personal trainers at gyms all around the country, seems to be the focus on cutting carbs, or as I like to refer to it, ‘carbophobia’.

Cutting carbs equals optimal weight loss, right? Well actually, recent research suggests otherwise. A study performed amongst young Australian women supported the benefits of a higher protein diet, which included 4 serves of nutrient rich grain foods each day. This approach helped manage hunger while providing a nutrient rich diet that women are more likely to follow in the long term. By six months the women who kept up with this balanced approach were able to achieve over 9% body weight loss, which they then maintained and improved upon over the full 12 months.

So what does a serve of grains look like? If you were to have 2/3 cup high fibre cereal for breakfast, a sandwich with 2 slices of wholegrain bread at lunch, and included 3 high fibre/wholegrain crisp breads as a snack you would be achieving your 4 serves of grains in a day. This provides over 50% of your daily fibre needs. This is excellent news given that the vast majority of Australians are lacking in this essential nutrient, one that is extremely important for bowel health, reducing the risk of cancer and for our general health and wellbeing. To put this into perspective, if not including grains in your daily diet you would need to eat around 1.1kg or 9 serves of vegetables and 3 serves of fruit each day to achieve your recommended daily fibre intake – I would say this would be an extremely difficult feat for most to achieve!

The conclusion? A higher protein diet that includes nutrient rich grain foods is a balanced approach for weight loss, so make sure you are getting your 4 serves a day!!

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