Why You Need to Eat Whole Grains

Researchers have finally discovered exactly why whole grains are so good for you.

While we all know that whole grains are good for us, up until recently it wasn't clear why this is the case. Previous studies have demonstrated the benefits of consuming higher levels of whole grains such as protecting against chronic diseases, reducing cardiovascular risks, and maintaining a healthy weight. But have you ever wondered why these foods are so beneficial? To understand this, scientists at the University of Eastern Finland took a closer look.

The new study looked at the effects of a grain-heavy diet on both mice and humans. The participants were required to eat higher levels of whole grains for 12 weeks and then the researchers carried out a metabolomics analysis, which is the study of chemical processes involving small molecules formed by and during metabolic processes. Their analysis demonstrated a significant increase in betaine compounds following the 12-week whole grain diet in both mice and humans. The findings showed a correlation between higher betaine compound levels and improved glucose metabolism. In a follow-up experiment, the researchers tested certain betaine compounds on cells in the laboratory. Researcher Olli Kärkkäinen states to Medical News Today, “We observed that 5-AVAB reduces cardiomyocytes' use of fatty acids as a source of energy by inhibiting the function of a certain cell membrane protein." This is interesting because some cardiac drugs have similar effects. Overall, the findings significantly increase our understanding of the mechanisms involved in the health benefits of whole grains. However, unraveling the interactions involved in any metabolic pathway is challenging and it will take more time and research to have a clear picture of the impact the compounds have on our bodies.


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Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

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