Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Weight Loss and a Whole-Grain Diet

The combination of diet and exercise is widely used for weight loss. It is generally accepted that exercise alone is not as effective as exercise plus a low calorie diet. Some may wonder if one low-calorie diet is better than another low-calorie diet. A study done by researchers at the University of Rhode Island indicated that exercise plus a high fiber whole-grain diet might indeed provide the maximum benefit. This diet supplies valuable nutrients as well as fewer calories than many diets.

For the study, three groups were established consisting of 180 subjects. One group used exercise, only, to lose weight. Another group used exercise plus a reduced calorie diet that included whole-grain cereals, and the third group used exercise plus a low calorie diet that did not include any whole-grain cereals. The groups consisted of sedentary men and women, and the study was carried out over a six month period.

The results of the study were as follows: The two groups that used exercise in conjunction with a low-calorie diet lost more weight than the group that used exercise alone to lose weight. But the group whose diet included whole-grain cereal may have received a healthier diet, because that group used a diet containing more nutrients than the other two groups. The whole-grain-cereal diet group received more fiber, magnesium and vitamin B6 in their diet than the other two groups.

It was determined, however, that all three groups needed more calcium and vitamin E. Although cereal is commonly eaten with milk, the whole-grain-cereal group ate the cereal as a snack and without milk. Milk would have been a source of calcium.

Using exercise plus a diet rich in whole grains is a good combination on which to build for a nutritious, weight-loss diet. Adding foods such as milk, green vegetables, and almonds would provide the needed calcium. And adding foods such as avocado and mango would provide Vitamin E.

At any rate, it appears that to lose weight, it is important to combine exercise with a low calorie diet. And if that diet is one that provides good nutrition, the diet plus exercise could be a winning combination. Bariatric and weight loss centers should take note of this research.


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