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An Easy Way to Deflate Belly Fat

     New research suggest that cutting calories, but doing so by filling up on whole grains, may be a heart-healthy way to lose weight.

Fifty obese adults who were at risk of heart disease, were involved in a twelve week study at Penn State University. Half of the group was instructed to select whole grains, while the rest were told to choose refined grains.

Those who trimmed calories and increased their whole-grain intake shed more belly fat and lowered their blood levels of C-reactive protein or CRP. (CRP is a marker of chronic, low-level inflammation in the blood vessels and is linked to heart attacks and strokes along with abdominal fat.) Whole grain foods retain more of the nutrients and fiber components of the grain, which may have kept participants’ blood sugar levels more stable throughout the day, and this may have lowered their CRP levels as well.

In contrast, dieters in the study who ate mainly refined grains, such as white bread and pasta, lost weight as well, but trimmed less fat from their middles. There was also no change in their CRP levels.

Be sure to check food labels when choosing foods that are a good source of whole grain. As a general rule, select products that are at least 51% whole grain. Products that put health claims about whole grains on their labels are required to contain at least that much.

If you weren't tuned into whole grains, this is yet more proof that the change to whole grains, such as oatmeal, brown rice and barley, rather than refined grains like white bread and other products made from white flour, is a change worth making.

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