Food Fact vs Food Fiction

With so much contradictory information about food it's almost impossible to make smart choices - that's why we've come to the rescue

Posted: 3 May 2011
by Joel Weber with Mike Zimmerman

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Is brown rice really much healthier than white rice?

Yes, because it's the whole grain. The same goes for wholemeal pasta, wholegrain bread and anything you might care to make from wholemeal flour. Wholegrain and wholemeal food is full of fibre and hasn't been stripped of nutrients by the refining process that gives us white bread and pasta.

Fibre takes up room in your stomach, which then sends your brain the signal that you're full. But if the fibre is taken out (as is the case with refined carbs such as those found in white rice and bread), fast-rising blood sugar (the sugar rush) triggers your pancreas to release a flood of insulin, the hormone that quickly lowers blood sugar.

This is why you can then suffer a sugar crash from eating these foods. This then encourages you to eat more, which in turn keeps your glucose levels in a constant state of turmoil. When the excess glucose is not used or stored as glycogen it is stored as fat.

A study from Penn State University in the US studied how much belly fat people lost when they ate whole grains instead of refined grains, and the results were significant: the wholegrain eaters lost 2.4 times more fat.

Dining at regular intervals, eating protein and fat at every meal, and choosing wholegrain foods will help manage your blood sugar and thus your cravings - and your fat storage.

Picture credit: Kate Mathis/ Getty Images

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