In my continuing quest to get the belly fat down, it is working by the way, I continually strive to ensure I also maintain a well-balanced diet. Studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have shown that people who followed a weight loss program incorporating whole-grain breads, cereals, and other foods lost more body fat from the troubling mid-drift than those who ate only refined grains like white bread and rice. The study also showed that those who ate whole-grains had more protection against heart disease.
While a diet of either whole grains or more processed foods can lead to weight loss, sticking with whole grains does significantly increase the amount of body fat lost. This is important when one considers weight loss is more about health than looks. Yes, I really do want to drop a dress size, but I want to be able to play with my kids and watch them go through life much more!
Sources of Whole Grain
Bulgur (cracked wheat)
Look for these ingredients at the top of an ingredient list when buying foods:
Foods labeled with the words “multi-grain,” “stone-ground,” “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “seven-grain,” or “bran” are usually not whole-grain products.
A really great, and often overlooked whole grain is barley. Packed with beta-gluten, barley is great at cutting down our bad LDL cholesterol and helps to maintain a good blood pressure. Barley makes you feel full…read need to eat less! And this wonderful food also controls blood sugar and helps fight diabetes. I tend to get a lot of my barley intake from tabbouleh or couscous.
1 cup pearl barley
5 cups fat-free vegetables or 5 cups chicken broth or 5 cups water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (to taste)
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 cup vine-ripened tomato, diced
1 cup cucumber, skin on, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium onion, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
salt and pepper
1. Combine barley and broth in a large saucepan. Set pain over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 45 minutes, until barley is tender.
2. Drain any excess water and transfer barley to a large bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, and oregano. Toss to combine. Add vegetables and parsley; toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or chilled.