As the playwright Tom Stoppard (who wrote "The Real Thing," "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead," and "The Real Inspector Hound") once said, "We give advice by the bucket, but take it by the grain."
That may describe all-too-human pushiness and folly wrapped up together, but what if we did the opposite?
When it comes to whole grains, what if we dished them out by the bucket instead of taking them grain-by-grain?
That's the smart move, guaranteed to improve your health and make you feel younger.
A new study headed by the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark shows that exchanging refined and processed grains — white rice, white bread and pastas — for whole grains has two far-reaching health benefits:
1. They promote weight loss by filling you up and keeping you full longer.
2. They slash low-level, bodywide inflammation (measured by declining levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6). That reduces your risk of everything from cardiovascular disease to depression and some cancers.
Tracking 60 participants at risk for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, the researchers found that all whole grains had benefits, but whole-grain rye was particularly effective in reducing markers of low-grade, chronic inflammation.
Other surprises: Over two eight-week periods, researchers found that whole grains did not measurably alter gut biome composition or insulin sensitivity.
It may be that those changes take longer to happen, so keep good grains center stage and go with 100 percent whole wheat, rye, oats, sorghum, barley, buckwheat and corn. They'll give you a healthy long run.
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