Category Archives: whole grains

Strategies to curb poor food choices

You  can’t outrun a bad diet. Words to live by. And, why not start early, like with our kids.

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What’s the best way to prevent children from overloading on bad food choices? Flinders University in Adelaide South Australia researchers have found that promoting substitution is the answer to turn around children’s excessive consumption of nutrient-poor foods and beverages – resulting in nutritional benefits that are even better than reducing intake of these discretionary food and drink choices.

Flinders University researchers studied the impact on the energy and nutrient intakes of more than 2000 Australian 2- to 18-year-olds through simulations of three dietary strategies. Continue reading

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Filed under junk food, junk food calories, nutrients, nutrition, vegetables, whole grains

New research on ‘clean eating’ explores potential link to eating disorders

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Suman Ambwani, a noted scholar in the field of disordered eating and associate professor of psychology at Dickinson College, and a team of researchers, asked nearly 150 college students to define “clean eating.” The students also were asked to read five vignettes featuring different “clean” diets and rate whether they thought the diets were “healthy,” reflected “clean eating” and whether they might try them out. The subjects’ responses varied, but overwhelmingly favored “clean eating,” even if the so-called “clean” diets caused problems in work, social and emotional functioning.

“It is concerning that our respondents had positive attitudes toward extreme ‘clean eating’ diets that cause distress and disruption,” said Ambwani. “We know dieting can create an increased risk for developing eating disorders, so we need to better understand how ostensibly healthy diets may devolve into disordered eating.”

Definitions of “clean eating” typically include elements such as eating local, “real,” organic, plant-based, home-cooked foods, but frequently also tout more extreme strategies, like eliminating gluten, grains or dairy. Trendy, “clean eating” diets are often highlighted on social and popular media, typically by non-expert celebrities, but there is no scientific consensus around what constitutes “clean eating.”

The study’s results “highlight the need to train consumers to better distinguish between trustworthy and fraudulent sources of information on nutrition and health behaviors,” said Ambwani. “‘Clean eating’ also appears to bestow an element of moral superiority,” she noted. “It can also signify status and is importantly linked with health-related attitudes and behaviors.”

Tony

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Filed under Clean Eating, diet trends, eating disorders, gluten, gluten free, whole grains

Eating whole grains increases metabolism and calorie loss – Study

A new study suggests that substituting whole grains for refined grains in the diet increases calorie loss by reducing calories retained during digestion and speeding up metabolism. This research is published in tandem with a study on the effect of whole grains on gut microbiota. Both studies are published  in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Epidemiology studies have suggested health benefits of whole grains and high dietary fiber intake, including for glycemic control and insulin sensitivity. There has been controversy, however, about whether whole grains and fiber are beneficial for weight regulation, partially because there hasn’t been data from controlled metabolic studies. This new study provided food to participants for eight weeks and may help explain how whole grain consumption is beneficial for weight management.

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Filed under calorie counting, calories, refined flour, whole grain, whole grains

Good health in simple steps – NIA

Living a healthy life is simple but not easy. This infographic from the National Institute on Aging makes it very clear.

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Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, sugar, sugary soft drinks, Weight, weight control, whole grains

Whole grains improve immune response – Studies

Consumption of fast foods and processed foods took another hit today according to a couple of studies from Tufts.

In a clinical trial, adults who consumed a diet rich in whole grains rather than refined grains had modest improvements in healthy gut microbiota and certain immune responses. The research was conducted in tandem with a study that looked at the effects of a whole-grain diet on energy metabolism. Both studies are published online today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Whole grain consumption has been associated with reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. Researchers have speculated that whole grains lessen risk for diseases through reducing inflammation, but studies comparing the effects of whole grains versus refined grains consumption have not controlled the diets of study participants and have not evaluated cell-mediated immune responses to uncover the impact of whole grains on immune and inflammatory responses.

The research team analyzed the results from an eight-week randomized, controlled trial with 81 participants to see what effect a diet rich in whole grains, as opposed to a diet rich in refined grains, would have on immune and inflammatory responses, gut microbiota, and stool frequency in healthy adults. For the first two weeks, participants consumed the same weight-maintaining Western-style diet rich in refined grains. For the next six weeks, 40 of those participants stayed on that diet, while 41 participants consumed a diet rich in whole grains. Continue reading

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Mr. Lazy Cook Combines Whole Grains

I have written a number of items on simple little techniques to create nutritious meals with minimal effort.

Here is another one. I like to cook up a pot of whole grains, such as brown rice, barley, farro, etc. Although it takes over 30 minutes to cook up, it produces a major element in a half dozen meals.

For my latest experiment, I cooked up 2/3 cup of raw medium grain brown rice and 2/3 cup of barley together in organic chicken broth that I get from Costco by the quart.

Tasty barley-brown rice combo …

As you can see from the photo it cooks up into a lovely moist and tasty batch.

Later this week I will be making soup with cut up chicken from the rotisserie chicken I bought at Costco. Obviously, this latest combo of whole grains fits perfectly with that.

There are also nice cold salads you can put together based on this mixture of whole grains.

Here is the nutritional breakdown for each:

Barley: Serving Size 1 cup, Calories 193, Carbohydrates 44 grams, no Cholesterol, Fat  1 gram, Sodium 4.7 mg, Fiber 6 grams and Protein 3.6 grams

Medium grain Brown Rice: Serving Size 1 cup, Calories 218, carbohydrates 46 grams, no cholesterol, Fat 1.6 grams, Sodium 2.0 mg, Fiber 4.5 grams, and Protein 4.5 grams

Please do feel free to write in suggestions of meals you made with this.

A quick final note. I just had a side dish of this barley-brown rice pilaf for dinner and the combination had a lovely taste and texture.

Tony

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Filed under Fiber, lazy cook, Weight, whole grains