I’ve mentioned Sally Squires column in the Washington Post before. Although I don’t always agree with her advice (or that of the experts she quotes) about how to lose weight and keep it off, I do think she often has some interesting columns and some good tips to share.
This week’s column was about whole grains and healthy weight loss. Recent research shows people who eat whole grains tend to be leaner and have smaller waistlines. I took notice for two reasons. In a previous life (almost 20 years ago now), I was part of a food industry team that was pushing whole grains. We were trying to get the public, the food industry and the government to realize that whole grains were something we all needed to be eating more of. At the time, the average American wasn’t getting more than 1 serving a day, if that. Probably aren’t getting any more now. Still, it’s good to think the message may be finally getting through. Any time we see a weight loss benefit attached to something, it gets noticed!
The second reason is that this research confirms once more that we don’t have to eat low carbohydrate diets to achieve healthy weights. Unfortunately, that old saw is still making the rounds. It’s the type of carbohydrate we eat more than the quantity (as long as we’re eating carbohydrates within a balanced eating plan). So it’s up with the oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat, bulgur and even spelt, and staying moderate with the refined flour products, sugary items, etc. Nothing really new as far as good nutrition goes, but people got pretty far from good nutrition with faddish low carbohydrate diets.
If this news doesn’t really sound that positive in the midst of the season’s indulgence, you might take heart from the fact that there are now whole grain flours that look like refined white flours. So the nutrition is there, but as far as what it looks and tastes like, it’s your basic white stuff. As I understand it, you can substitute it for regular white flour in many if not most recipes, and the taste and texture will be similar.
We’ve got lots of white stuff here in Vermont these days…the snowy kind. Here’s hoping it hangs around for Christmas!