Whole grains vs. processed – reduced visceral abdominal fat

Janice, a long-time  member in my FitDream Fusion Inner Circle and on the team in my February Body Transformation Booty Camp, brought this article to my attention and I just had to share it with you.

First, you’ve got to know that Janice has created amazing changes in her body by implementing a few simple tools of body improvement.  And one of those has been to increase the quantity of whole grains and starchy vegetables while decreasing fiber-hungry, higher fat foods in her diet.  In her words:

[frame_left]http://thetruthaboutfatlossforwomen.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Janice_N..jpg[/frame_left]Another juicy tidbit from March’s Berkeley Wellness Letter.  This bit I have witnessed first hand – when I was eating 80% MWL/McD* the ring of fat around my belly button started to dissolve until the pudge above my waistline was gone.

So cool.

Lani, ‘ twas nice that in this month’s Wellness Letter there were two snippets that seemed to directly apply to Body Transformation Booty Camp and Fitdream Fusioners and the course you’ve steered us to smile

It really was amazing when the ring of fat started to melt away. I’m still flabbergasted. Being able to see the bottom of my belly button – still a thrill. 
~ Janice Nelson, Redwood City, CA

Here’s the thing.  Processed grains are most often sapped of their fiber.  This creates much greater calorie density in the grain products that result.

Greater calorie density means more calories without the corresponding satiety you get from eating whole, fiber-full foods.  Decreased satiety means you eat MORE to satisfy your hunger.

Remember, satiety is based on bulk and nutrition.  That means the weight of the food in your gut, which is a function of fibrous foods and the water held in that fiber.  It’s why it is so easy to overeat on fiber-free, high fat, high processed sugar foods.  They just aren’t filling your belly as real food should.

Here are some important pieces from the article to which Janice refers.

Eating Mostly Whole Grains, Few Refined Grains Linked to Lower Body Fat

Diet questionnaires were submitted by 2,834 men and women enrolled in The Framingham Heart Offspring and Third Generation study. The participants were ages 32 to 83, underwent multidetector-computed tomography (MDCT) scans to determine VAT (Visceral Adipose Tissue) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) volumes.

People who consume several servings of whole grains per day while limiting daily intake of refined grains appear to have less of a type of fat tissue thought to play a key role in triggering cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

OK.  Let’s get OVER our carbophobia once and for all.  Whole grains and starchy veggies do NOT one fat make.  I don’t care what your blood type, “metabolic type”, or your shoe size.

Researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Researcher Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University observed lower volumes of  (VAT) in people who chose to eat mostly whole grains instead of refined grains.

VAT volume was approximately 10 % lower in adults who reported eating three or more daily servings of whole grains and who limited their intake of refined grains to less than one serving per day,” says first author Nicola McKeown, PhD, a scientist with the Nutritional Epidemiology Program at the USDA HNRCA.

For the record, visceral fat is that which surrounds the intra-abdominal organs. Subcutaneous fat is found just beneath the skin. Previous research suggests visceral fat is more closely tied to the development of “metabolic syndrome”, characterized by hypertension, elevated cholesterol levels, and insulin resistance that is a precursor to cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes,”

Not surprisingly, when we compared the relationship of both visceral fat tissue and subcutaneous fat tissue to whole and refined grain intake, we saw a more striking association with visceral fat. The association persisted after we accounted for other lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol intake, fruit and vegetable intake, percentage of calories from fat and physical activity,” explains co-author Paul Jacques, DSc, director of the Nutritional Epidemiology Program at the USDA HNRCA and a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts.

Published online Sept. 29 by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the present study builds on prior research that associates greater whole grain intake with reduced risk of metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.

It’s the whole versus the refined that makes the big difference

The authors of this report and study made a critical observation: Participants who ate, on average, three daily servings of whole grains but continued to eat many refined grains did not demonstrate lower VAT volume. “This result implies that it is important to make substitutions in the diet, rather than simply adding whole grain foods. For example, choosing to cook with brown rice instead of white or making a sandwich with whole grain bread instead of white bread.”

Next time someone says “Carbs make you fat.  Grains make  you fat”, remind them that not all ‘carbs’ are created equal.  Well, maybe they are, but we humans sure know how to mess ’em up.  And it messes with our waistlines big time.

This study is funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the USDA, and a research grant from the General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition.  Of course, as these studies are observational, future research that specifically investigates whole grain intake and body fat distribution in a larger, more diverse study population is needed to identify the mechanism that is driving this relationship,” Jacques adds. ScienceDaily (Oct. 20, 2010)  To read this article in its entirety, go to Science Daily.

Janice faced carbophobia straight in the face and emerged a fat-loss winner.  You can too.

*MWL/McD* = Maximum Weight Loss/  McDougall
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