Whole Grains and Pasta Linked To Better Diet and Lower Body Weight

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Yanni Papanikolaou PhD Candidate, Masters in Public Health Nutrition
Nutritional Strategies Inc.
Paris, ON, Canada

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005–2010, which consisted of information from more than 14,000 U.S. adults 19 years old and older. We looked at dietary eating patterns and compared those individuals that consumed grain and grain-based foods (both in whole and enriched forms) and compared to those who omit main grain foods from their diet. We examined nutrient intakes, diet quality and various health measures, including body weight and waist circumference, within each grain group and compared to adults not eating grain foods.
We found that people consuming certain grain foods had better overall diet quality, lower average body weight and a smaller waist circumference.

Specifically, adults consuming pasta, cooked cereals and rice weighed 7.2 pounds less and had waist circumferences that were 1.2 inches smaller compared to adults who didn’t eat grains. Although the public is quick to demonize enriched grains, our findings show that enriched grains provide vital nutrients many Americans fall short on, such as fiber, folate, calcium, iron, and magnesium.  Eliminating grain-based foods can have negative effects on diet quality and intake of essential nutrients.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: People should feel comfortable adding enriched and whole grain foods into their diet. Grain-based foods can be essential for a healthy, well-balanced diet and certain grain food patterns, as part of a healthy diet with regular exercise, can facilitate healthy body weight. By selecting a diet plan with a mix of whole and enriched grains, people have the ability to increase their nutritional intake. For this reason, eliminating grain foods from the diet can lead to a lack of intake in essential nutrients and may have serious health consequences.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Our research shows the importance of including grain foods in dietary patterns, especially as the new Dietary Guidelines have highlighted several shortfall nutrients in the diet, including dietary fiber, iron, magnesium and folate. Our work has shown that all grain foods contribute nearly 25% of all fiber, 34% of all folate, 30% of all iron for 14% of all calories in the total diet.

Future research should consider focusing on bread specifically, which are often unfairly labeled a villain as a result of the friends it keeps. Breads and sandwiches are often accompanied by foods encouraged to limit, including spreads with added sugar, sodium and increased fat content. However, breads and sandwiches are likely to have a different contribution to the diet when accompanied by nutrient-dense ingredients like low-fat cheese, lean meats and vegetables.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: The key to a healthy diet is balanced eating that incorporates all food groups and a plan that meets recommendations for physical activity. It’s important not to exclude any specific foods from your diet – including enriched or whole grains. Our research provides evidence that eliminating certain grain-based foods in the overall diet, whether whole or enriched grains, may have negative effects on diet quality and intakes of essential nutrients. In fact, consuming grains can help close the nutrient gaps many American adults encounter on a daily basis.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Certain Grain Food Patterns Are Associated with Improved 2015 Dietary Guidelines Shortfall Nutrient Intakes, Diet Quality, and Lower Body Weight in US Adults: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2010 Yanni Papanikolaou1*, Victor L. Fulgoni III2 1 Nutritional Strategies Inc., Paris, ON, Canada 2 Nutrition Impact, LLC, Battle Creek, MI, USA Received 11 May 2016; accepted 22 July 2016; published 25 July 2016
http://www.scirp.org/journal/fns http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/fns.2016.79078

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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