What’s the Deal with Whole Grains & Metabolism?

By Amy Gorin, MS, RDN

Every year that I can, I go to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. It’s when all the dietitians across the country come together and discuss the latest nutrition breakthroughs and learn about new food trends and products. And an overarching trend that I saw while at the most recent conference: whole grains, like the sorghum in the salad pictured here! I also saw new seed-infused whole-grain breads, noodles made with brown-rice flour, and more.

And recent preliminary research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that eating whole grains may help give metabolism (energy required by your body to process the food you eat and perform basic bodily functions such as breathing) a minor boost. In the small study, scientists asked 49 men and 32 post-menopausal women to eat a weight-maintenance diet that was either rich or low in whole grains for six weeks. Turns out the people in the elevated whole-grains group burned about 92 extra calories daily from a higher resting metabolic rate and extra energy lost in stool!

Given those findings, I’m glad that I get in my whole grains daily. In fact, I had a really delicious bowl of brown rice, along with some chickpeas and broccoli, for a fiber-filled dinner this evening.

What are your favorite ways to eat whole grains? Tell me on Connect @amy_gorin!
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Amy Gorin is a freelance writer and registered dietitian nutritionist in New Jersey. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.