The Best Whole Grain Foods For Weight Loss and Belly-Fat Reduction

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Whole-grain foods can become a powerful weapon when you try to lose weight. A whole grain is a highly nutritional and unprocessed food option since it contains all parts of a kernel (the bran, germ, and endosperm). As opposed to refined grains, whole-grain foods possess significant health benefits, including belly-fat reduction and overall weight loss. If you are wondering about the most popular and effective types of whole grain foods for weight loss and belly fat reduction, here is a list of the most popular options.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes


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Brown rice

Rice is definitely one of the most popular foods in the world. However, white and brown rice differ a lot in terms of their nutritional content. Brown rice is a great option if you wish to lose weight. It contains more fiber than processed grains, like white rice, and thus it can boost metabolism and decrease blood sugar levels. Apart from increased fiber content, brown rice also contains complex carbohydrates, polyphenols, and phytic acid, all of which are essential nutrients in the battle with weight loss.

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Quinoa

Commonly known as the mother of all grains, quinoa is one of the best choices for weight loss. Cooked quinoa is usually included in salads, and accompanies grilled meats or vegetables. Vegetarians also love quinoa since it is more difficult for them to find appropriate foods to lose weight. Since it is low on the glycemic index, it means that it is safe for diabetics and those wishing to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.


Millet

Millets are small seed grasses originating from certain parts of Asia and Africa. They are loaded with fiber and other nutrients that work perfectly together in keeping our stomach fuller for a longer period of time. In fact, millets contain an impressive 22%of fiber content! Most whole millet can be cooked similarly to rice. Alternatively, you can make different salads with them or even use millet flour as a replacement for wheat flour.


Oatmeal

Another great source of fiber that can keep you feeling full all day is oatmeal. In many countries, oat-based foods are a popular breakfast option. Apart from soluble fiber, oatmeals also contain plant-based proteins and complex carbs that help control insulin and blood sugar levels. However, sticking to a healthy portion size is important when incorporating oatmeal into your diet. Half a cup of dry oats in the morning or early afternoon is the golden rule. Larger portions can negatively interfere with your weight-loss diet since oatmeal can be too carb-heavy in large quantities.


Buckwheat

Although the word may fool you, buckwheat has nothing to do with wheat. It is actually a pseudocereal, meaning it is a seed resembling cereals. Many people consider it a superfood and for good reasons: it is highly nutritious, and a good source of vitamins, proteins, and complex carbohydrates. Buckwheat is considered a food that can increase satiety and help reduce the total amount of calories people consume on a daily basis.


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Whole-grain corn

Most people just love corn. It is tasty and easy to cook in different ways. Whether you are a fan of roasted corn, boiled or chargrilled, the result will be a tasty and healthy snack. What most people are unaware of, however, is the fact that whole-grain corn possesses significant weight loss properties, as well. Since it is relatively high in fiber, it proves to be efficient in reducing weight, particularly from the belly. It is also, low in fats and has other nutrients that add up to its overall nutritional value.

Sweetcorn is a type of corn you will normally not consider a good option if you wish to lose weight. And the truth is that if you are dealing with health issues, like increased blood sugar, you should better stay away from it. However, in people with no such issues, it can be a good addition to their diet, since it provides all the necessary calories the body needs in order to improve daily metabolism. Like regular corn, sweetcorn contains high-fiber content, as well.


Rye Bread

With its dark brown color, rye bread will have definitely caught your eye at some point. You may have heard claims that rye can be a tasty and healthier alternative to white bread, and that can even help you lose weight. Is there any truth in that? The answer is a big yes. Bread made from whole-grain rye flour is a great source of fiber and it is extremely low in calories. A recent study published in the scientific journal “Clinical Nutrition” and conducted by researchers in Sweden revealed that people who ate high-fiber products made from whole-grain rye managed to lose more body fat and overall weight than those who didn’t.


Whole grain Barley

Barley is among the most popular whole-grain foods for weight loss. Its slightly nutty flavor and chewy consistency make it a sought-after component of many dishes. Barley can help you lose weight since it reduces hunger and promotes feelings of fullness. It is high in beta-glucan, a soluble fiber known for its efficacy in reducing appetite. Moreover, this type of fiber may target belly fat related to metabolic disease.


Lentils

Lentils are a unique type of whole grain since they are rich in protein and fiber, as well as in slow-digesting carbohydrates. They are also, loaded with other nutrients, including zinc, iron, and vitamin B. Eating lentils on a regular basis can help in the battle for weight loss since they can really boost metabolism, and thus, make your body burn more fat. Green lentils, in particular, are high in soluble fiber and low in calories, making them an excellent choice for people with diabetes or insulin resistance.


Pop Corn 

When we think about popcorn, the first thing that comes to mind is how tasty it is. Can such a delicious treat be that healthy, as well? The answer may surprise you since popcorn is at the top of the list of the healthiest snacks you can eat with no regrets. It is a whole grain, it is high in fiber, and can really help in weight loss. In fact, it has been estimated that popcorn eaters receive 250% more whole grains in their diet than others. Since it is filled with air (think about how smaller the initial kernels are compared to when they are popped), you can eat a lot of it without receiving many calories. Although air-popped popcorn has less flavor compared to buttered, it is much healthier and it is the preferred type if you are on a diet. 


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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Are whole grains good for weight loss?

Many people wonder if whole grains are truly good for weight loss in order to include them in their diet. Whole grains, as opposed to refined grains, contain high levels of fiber and are usually low in calories. Thus, they are considered an effective type of food if you are on the lookout for losing weight. They will normally decrease your appetite, increase feelings of fullness and boost your metabolism.

What is a whole grain?

Whole grains, as the name implies, include grains like rye, rice, corn, and barley that are consumed in their ”whole” form. Whole grains include the bran, germ, and endosperm, as opposed to refined grains which only include the endosperm. The bran is the outer layer of the grain and typically consists of high levels of fiber, antioxidants, vitamin B, minerals, and phytochemicals. The core of the grain is named the ”germ” and it is rich in healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants. Lastly, the interior layer, known as the endosperm is full of proteins, complex carbohydrates, and minerals. The endosperm is what is left by the industrial processing of whole grains resulting in highly processed and not-that-healthy refined grains.

Are there any other health benefits related to whole grain foods?

Whole-grain foods are known to possess several health benefits. Numerous studies have related whole grains to protection against heart disease, lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, reduced risk of obesity, and improved gut health. They are an excellent source of fiber and proteins, they are low in calories and they typically contain other important nutrients, including minerals, vitamins, and polyphenols. For those reasons, they should become an inseparable part of every person’s diet.

Are whole grains and fiber the same?

Whole grains and fiber are not the same. They are actually quite different. Fiber is one of the components of a grain. Whole grains as a rule contain fiber, but the actual amount varies a lot. Brown rice or wild rice, for example, contain lower quantities of fiber compared to rye or wheat. However, both whole grains and fibers are really important in maintaining good health and should be consumed on a daily basis. What’s more some of the nutritional properties of whole grains have to do with their fiber content. For example, whole-grain foods containing high levels of soluble fiber can play a significant role in weight loss. 

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