Natural Foods Merchandiser

Whole Grains Seen As Weight Management, Heart Healthy Ally

Whole grains are beginning to look like the latest dietary darling. First, a Harvard University study found that eating whole grains can halve women?s risk of long-term weight gain. The study of 75,000 women, published in the November 2003 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that those who ate high-fiber, whole-grain foods were 50 percent less likely to gain a significant amount of weight during the 12 years of the study. What?s more, women who ate cereal frequently weighed an average of 9 pounds less than those who don?t.

Then on Dec. 9, the Food and Drug Administration authorized a new health claim for whole grains, initially submitted for review by Kraft Foods. The claim, based on research by the National Academy of Sciences, states that ?Diets rich in whole grain foods and other plant foods, and low in saturated fat and cholesterol may help reduce the risk of heart disease.?

While not included in the claim, Kraft cited additional NAS research showing that whole grain foods were also associated with lower occurrences of lung, colon, esophagus and stomach cancers. The research found that refined grains had no effect on heart health.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 2/p. 18

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