Grains, Greens and Fat Loss


If you were to hold a gun to my head and ask me, “Which is better for weight loss–grains or greens?”

What would my answer be? That’s easy. Without hesitation, I would say the greens–or vegetables. Why? Read on…

Let’s compare grains and vegetables. Despite all you read about “healthy” or :high fiber” grains, they are not nearly as healthy or nutritionally complete as vegetables are.

In fact, grains are higher on the glycemic index then any common vegetable. That means they raise blood sugar levels higher, which should be kept steady when your goal is to lose fat, drop weight or stay in a weight maintenance program.

Let’s compare and contrast just a few grains and greens. These numbers where taken from the Glycemic Food Chart from the South Beach diet plan.


Whole grain bread  low   50
Rice, brown  medium   55
All Bran   low   42


Asparagus  low  15
Lettuce   low  15
Peppers   low  15

As you can see, even if grains fall into the “low” category in the Glycemic Index, they still have higher numbers then vegetables. But there is more to consider.

Vegetables provide–without a doubt– more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fiber per serving  than grains do. More fiber helps us to regulate our blood sugar levels, prevent cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Enzymes maintain all of our body functions. (Note to self: Eat veggies raw whenever possible.) Their vital enzymes are deactivated in heat above 118°F. Vitamins and minerals are vital for our immune system to function efficiently. You just get more bang for the buck with vegetables.

And greens are less calorie-dense than grains. That means you can eat more of them to feel fuller without gaining weight. If you eat the same amount of grains, you take in more calories and gain weight. Sorry.

Historically, the natural diet of humans was food that could be plucked, gathered, fished or hunted. But when civilization expanded and wildlife and wild plants became scarce, cultivation of crops, or agriculture, was invented. And agriculture allowed us to flourish. Without those crops, the planet would not be able to support six billion people.

So are all grains bad? No, but if your goal is weight loss, I recommend that you choose a carbohydrate that is fibrous over starchy.

And do I want to wipe out grains off the earth entirely? No, but choose them wisely in your weight loss program when you only have a certain amount per day to consume to achieve weight loss.



Stefan Aschan is a leading expert on lifestyle, health and fitness who has helped more than 30,000 people get fit through advice on nutrition, fitness and lifestyle changes. For your free “How to live 100 years in perfect health” report and the must read “updates and solution” newsletter on how to have 10 times more success, stay on top of your goals, and accomplish the change of body and appearance,” visit www.stefanaschan.com

Categories : Nutrition

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