When trying to improve your dietary intake for fat loss, and to build a little lean muscle, carbohydrates and grains are subjects of true controversy. There are many different opinions about different forms of carbohydrates and their place within our diet. One of the most commonly misunderstood topics is the myth of “healthy whole grains” and fat loss…
I talk to a huge number of people about their nutritional intake and look at (literally) hundreds of ‘food logs’. It has given me fantastic insight over the years! One of the most common misconceptions we hold in the UK is that simply switching our white grain-based produce (breads and pastas) to their wholegrain alternatives will improve our rate of fat loss. This is a myth and one that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
Why do we believe this myth?
The answer here is two-fold;
- The word “whole-grain” sounds lovely, does it? We have the “whole”/natural food within this product. It sounds as though it is the way that nature intended perhaps. Therefore, it must be both far healthier and better for our fitness and fat loss goals. Just as saturated fat now sounds pretty deadly (see my blog on “Low-Fat Diets” HERE) and instantly makes us think of clogged arteries and heart disease, “wholegrain” makes us think; healthy.
- There is a huge amount of money to be made from agriculture and keeping the consumption of grains relatively high in the UK. The agricultural industry makes large financial contributions to the British Dietetic Association who are consistent and strong advocates of the consumption of healthy whole grains for weight loss (recommending grains as a daily staple).
What’s the truth?
The truth is that, when we program for fat loss, one of the most powerful first-steps you can make is to control sharp or significant elevations in blood sugar. To help understand which foods can cause such an elevation, you have a really useful tool in the Glycemic Load (GL). This long list of foods are given a score that quickly shows the effect each has on your blood sugar after consumption. Its super easy to understand!
The great news is that there are many carbohydrate-based foods that do not have a huge impact on your blood sugar and various tasty alternatives are available to high-GL foods that we typically consume daily in the UK (breakfast cereals, for example). However, when it comes to bread and pasta, it doesn’t matter if they are white, brown or wholegrain. The impact on your blood sugar, and therefore fat loss effort, is almost identical.
“If you want the TRUTH about fat loss
take a look at my next fat loss retreat at Champneys Spas!”
If you are starting to eat more consciously to improve your body composition, controlling your blood sugar should be one of your first-steps. High-glycaemic grain-based starches such as breads and pastas should be limited, no matter what their colour or title.
Thanks for reading!
COMING SOON a blog listing several Xander Conditioning approved alternatives to common grain-based meals and snacks!