The Truth About “Healthy” Grains
Mainstream doctors have led you to believe a low-fat diet that’s high in grains is not only healthy… but also a great way to shed pounds.
I’m here to tell you they couldn’t be more wrong.
The truth is that today’s processed grain-filled foods will not help you lose weight.
In fact, grains produce such a storm of insulin, there’s never enough to process all the blood sugar.
And what’s left over gets stored as body fat.
That’s why you gain weight.
No wonder so many people following their doctor’s advice can’t shed pounds!
Thankfully, there’s an easy fix: Stop confusing fiber and grains.
And, yes, you should eat more high-quality fiber.
That’s because when you eat high-quality fiber with a meal, you slow down the “emptying” of your stomach.
This slows the rate at which your body breaks down the food into simple sugars and energy. As a result, your insulin levels remain stable.
And that reduces the amount of fat you produce and store.
Research shows that consuming just 5 grams of soluble fiber before or with each meal can significantly blunt the blood sugar-insulin surge.
And large population studies show people in countries that consume more soluble fiber weigh less.
Just make sure to pay special attention to the “high-quality” part of the fiber equation. Avoid unhealthy grains as the source of your fiber. Instead, get what you need from the excellent sources below:
The anti-grain fiber: Load up on veggies. The best source of fiber is fibrous vegetables like broccoli, collard greens, squash, eggplant and spinach.
Go nuts: The fiber found in nuts is one of the most effective. Walnuts are a great choice. So are almonds. Eat a handful a day for a quick and easy fiber-filled treat.
Pumpkin fibers: Seeds make great fiber-filled snacks. My personal favorite is pumpkin seeds. Their seed pulp has fiber throughout. Eat a handful a day.
Unique yellow fiber source: Bananas have a type of fiber called inulin. This resists digestion from the small intestine and reaches the large intestine intact. That means bananas help slow digestion and make it much easier to process blood sugar completely so you don’t store fat.
Fiber secret: Fenugreek is a special nutrient found in only a few plants in the world. It contains galactomannan, a type of soluble fiber that slows down the rate sugar gets absorbed into your blood.1 The seeds are 25% galactomannan. Fenugreek is heart healthy too. In one study, a gram of fenugreek per day lowered triglyceride levels and boosted HDL.2
Italian fiber miracle: The sixth source of fiber is the “cannellini” bean, or the white kidney bean. They have a special resistant fiber in them that preserves carbs as fiber so they don’t break down into fat.
Besides helping you look and feel better, fiber-induced weight loss also helps you fight the aging process.
When researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences looked at women over 30, they discovered that as the women gained weight, their telomeres got shorter.3
Telomeres are the caps on the ends of your DNA strands. Nobel-prize winning research shows that longer telomeres are directly connected with increased lifespan and health.
And when researchers at the German Cancer Research Center looked at 29 other studies on the relationship between fat and telomere length, almost all of them found that the more overweight a person is, the shorter their telomeres are.4
That’s a big deal. Maintaining your telomere length is the secret to looking and feeling younger than your years.
As I tell my patients, if you’re looking to drop a couple of dress sizes and beat back the years, be sure to pack your diet full of high-quality fiber.
To your good health,
Al Sears, MD
1. Kassaian N, Azadbakht L, Forghani B, Amini M. “Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose and lipid profiles in type 2 diabetic patients.” Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2009;79(1):34-9.
2. Gupta A, Gupta R, et al. “Effect of Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) seeds on glycemic control and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes mellitus…” J Assoc Physicians India. 2001;49:1057-1061.
3. Kim S, et al. “Obesity and weight gain in adulthood and telomere length.” Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009;18(3):816-20.
4. Müezzinler A, Zaineddin AK, Brenner H. “Body mass index and leukocyte telomere length in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Obes Rev. 2013. Epub ahead of print.