Food Spark supports busy food professionals, marketing and insight teams who work in retail, foodservice and manufacturing. Add to idea book What's this? Bookmark See bookmarks. Share to Email Email. Not just for snacking These new savoury mochi have a number of selling points. So will Sparkie be snacking on these savoury bites? Want to see more? See all that Food Spark has to offer by requesting a free no-obligation demo.
Add to Idea Book "Could Japanese sweet snack mochi make moves into savoury? I can easily be satisfied with rice for a LONG time before attempting potatoes. I suppose years of eating resistant starch is the perfect recipe for LIBO. I just love bananas. As your book points out overeating high FP fruit can fuel small intestinal bacteria into a frenzy.
Thanks again. Although I would LOVE to go back to the good old days and eat anything and everything, and maybe that day will come, at least your book points out that one can overcome SIBO and still enjoy some good food. One just has to be mindful FP. I hear you Lazza. I wish I could eat like I used to too. This is covered in my books Shelby. Putting the bad bugs on a diet can be done with the low FP approach Fast Tract Digestion where the number of total daily carbs is irrelevant or by controlling total carbs Heartburn Cured.
On the later approach, a good starting point is less than 25 grams per day then follow the plan. Thank you again for all of your research and saving me from a Nissen Fundoplication! I was experiencing some strange sounding belches like the individual that commented above. I stuck to the diet, and my belching sounds normal now. It took about a month and a half, but sticking to the diet really worked. I sincerely appreciate what you are doing and have recommended your book to several family, friends, and co-workers. Your book should be mandatory reading for anyone suffering from digestive illness.
I am not overweight, but have suffered from chronic acid reflux for 2 and a half years. I am 32 years old. My reflux has now completely disappeared. After changing my diet I realized I had been bloated after eating certain carbohydrates for the last 10 years or so. I thought it was normal! Boy was I wrong! My girlfriend first brought it to my attention about 2 years ago when I looked 4 months pregnant after dinner. I am skinny enough that most people never noticed it.
I would usually just throw a sweatshirt on after I ate out. I feel stupid for not recognizing the symptoms sooner! I want to tell everyone I know how I feel now. I have read many forums where people are borderline suicidal dealing with reflux and ibs. It really saddens me. I hope more and more people discover your book before they allow doctors to just cut them open.
I hope your book changes their lives too. The only symptom I have now is bloating if I stray from my diet. Most websites say there is no cure, while some have indicated a 1 to 3 year period until a person can eat normal again. I wonder if any research has been done to see how long it would take to starve the bacteria off near completely? Hi Joseph, I am happy to see that the Fast Tract approach gave you such positive results. It sounds like yours are. I accidentally erased my last comment somehow, so I will give it another shot.
Your diet absolutely cured my reflux! I also experienced strange sounding belching as the gentleman described above. I never though it would stop. I stuck with the diet for a month and a half, and now I am back to normal! I am so grateful for my restored health!
I have recommended your book to coworkers, friends, and family. This book should be mandatory reading from anyone suffering from any digestive problems. I am 32 years old, and not overweight. Chronic reflux started 2 and a half years ago. I researched daily for a cure. Your book saved me from a Nissen Fundoplication.
It saddens me to see people in forums suffering from reflux and ibs sounding near suicidal. I hope they all learn of your book. I always thought it was normal because I could usually just suck my gut it in or throw on a sweatshirt. Boy, was I wrong. I was skinny enough that no one seemed to notice. I get my carbs from green leaf lettuce, some greek yogurt, ripe fruit, and lactose free ice cream, etc. I also really enjoy the jasmine rice. Your diet truly addresses the cause. I have researched a lot more trying to find out if I will ever be able to eat the same way again. I should say…at least eat some of the things carbs.
Most people say there is no cure, while others say it can take 1 to 3 years to cure this. I have also read that probiotics can help make symptoms better or worse. I have been using Dr. Curious if anyone has ever tried to near-completely starve out the not so friendly gut inhabitants?
I wonder if there is in fact a way to cure this stuff permanently by sticking to this type of diet? Thank you again for changing my life and for giving me hope. Quick questions: a lot of paleo recipes use coconut flour. Also, what is the FP on brown rice protein powder like sun warrior and garden of life? Since most of the starch is removed and it is mostly protein, am I sage to assume that it is in the low Category? Then calculate FP making sure to add grams of fiber. Below is a reply to another inquiry about coconut flour with some general thoughts on symptom potential.
Below is a reply to another inquiry about coconut flour. Check the label so see if carbs are present. Most recipes for pancakes call for approx 2 tablespoons of coconut flour, so is that a safe amount.? Also, some recipes call for like 1TB psyllium as a binder or chia, but the former seems to work best. How are psyllium, coconut flour and chia in those amounts and ione sserving of a recipe 2tbs Co flour, 1TB psyllium?
I recommend doing you best to stay in the FP limits per meal and per day remembering to add the fiber grams. Once you are symptom free, you can experiment in a controlled fashion to add less well characterized foods to see if they invoke symptoms. Or is it more along the lines of once u have it, u always have it, just in varying degrees dependingon diet and such?
That would not be cool.. I want to get rid of it entirely and not have to be so strict with carbs. Fast Tract Digestion goes into all of these issues. These are described in chapter 6. Also, how can hummus be low fp but chickpeas be high fp? What brand of hummus is usually safest? And Lastly, would homemade hummus be high fp or low? And was the fps for the legume list on dry, or cooked? Notice in the FP tables that the serving size referenced for chick peas is 5 times larger than the serving size for the hummus.
That accounts for the difference in FP. The question to ask is what is happening to the carbs during the process can you get a net carb number for the sprouted product? Sprouting changes the carb into more protein, i believe…. So the longer u sprout, the less fp it would have, right?
I wish there was moredata on sprouting. Many people have other types of gut pathogens besides bacterial, like yeast fungus parasites etc. Ok, just kidding. The books and site are getting more popular, which is what we want. The concept of both the FP and Low carb approach is to create a condition of more limited gut nutrients to reduce microbe counts overall including various types of bacteria and yeast. The lower the FP, the more likely the carbs are fully digested entering the blood stream instead of persisting in the intestine. Im in the process fo reading it and am so excited by the concept that Im recommending it to a lot of my friends…however, we are skeptical bc everything out there says NO carbs with candida, klebsiella, and other major bugs, so we are trying to wrap our brains around this theory.
So basically, low FP allows u to eat certain carbs and these carbs will NOT feed yeasts and starch-eating microbes at all? Also, pro digest slower than carbs and thus can hold up the carb digestion and thus ferment. Any thought on this? Nothing is absolute. Bacteria and yeast prefer to ferment carbohydrates different species and strains have different abilities to ferment different carbs , but can also ferment proteins and amino acids.
Kate, I also think food combination probably plays a significant role our digestion. I know Ayurveda gets into this a bit more. I have been using your book for a few days now, after 5 years of dealing with heartburn. Hi Daniel, Once on the diet, many people just go cold turkey without symptoms. A more gradual approach is to wean off over a period of two weeks — with your doctor in the loop. You are the best Norm. I know you have helped many selflessly.
I have contacted your email for a phone consult and hope to have the opportunity. Wow, thanks Danial.
But the pleasure is all mine. I started as a long term GERD sufferer. My research and writing has been a very pleasurable 7 year journey. Seeing things through a new lens new theory is very rewarding. Everything you read looks different. If someone still had symptoms while off the medication, would you recommend they stay off of it? I am just curious. For those of us focused on esophageal health and using things that are supposed to be good against esophageal cancer, like fish oil pills, turmeric and mustard , brocolli sprouts, etc.
The only reason I can imagine someone having GERD symptoms other than SIBO is having a lower esophageal sphincter that is extremely weak or damaged easily allowing stomach contents to spill into the esophagus. I see SIBO is the driver of acid reflux in every other case. I finally received the book and have been enjoying reading it and trying to implement the principles in my lower-carb diet. I am still having quite a few symptoms and, beginning today, am trying to measure more carefully how many grams of FP I consume daily.
I make my own yogurt and let it ferment for at least 24 hrs. Would the FP be lower than the 7 grams listed for presumably commercial yogurt? Do you have an educated guess as to the FP of lactose-free milk? Is lactose-free milk still something heartburn sufferers should try to limit or count toward daily FP targets? Do you recall which brand you calculated FP for? Just curious whether this might be a factor to consider, just as we have to think twice about refrigerating cooked starches.
Great post Christina, The student becomes the master. Your questions are amazing. Your thought and link on yogurt is really interesting. Lactose-free milk is most definitely lower FP than lactose-containing milk, but I suspect they add sugar back for the same taste. Another mini research project. On the brown rice pasta and the various types of potatoes, all I can say is that I sourced all my data for calculation of FP from the public domain glycemic index tables.
I removed many foods due to the fact that they would not be recognized in the US. Still many of the foods in the tables are Australian as much GI work has been done there. Now I will need to rely on well informed curious readers like your self to learn more about the availability of the less well recognized foods in the tables. What is the difference between rice cakes and puffed rice cakes? The only ones I have found are Quaker Oats rice cakes would these be considered puffed rice?
Which one are you referring to? Hi Sherry, Thanks for reading. They look fat and round and very light. Likely the same as the Quaker Oats rice cakes you mentioned. Good luck with the diet! Cover with plastic wrap and monitor the temperature until it drops to around F you can use ice packs or a water bath under your bowl to cool down the milk more quickly. When the milk reaches F, whisk in Tbsp. Whisk well. Cover your container with its lid discard the plastic wrap , wrap it in a towel, and stick it in the oven that you have very briefly preheated to warm it up slightly like you might for proofing bread dough.
Turn the oven light on. Note the time—your yogurt will be ready in 24 hrs. Every hrs. At the end of 24 hrs. It will also firm up further once you refrigerate it. No problem. The higher the fat content, the thicker your yogurt will be. My normal breakfast is about 1 c. The impression I have from the book is that you can sometimes experience symptoms 2 or 3 days out from something you at earlier which is why the diet has you reintroduce wheat and other potential allergens slowly and separated by several days to monitor for symptoms. Does this mean that after some time on the diet that one could eat within an hour of sleeping without heartburn, and not have to sleep on an incline?
I would keep the technique on your GERD tool belt in case you ever have breakthrough symptoms. I have weaned from 40mg Prilosec to 20MG Prilosec and am doing much better symptom-wise since starting the diet despite the lower dosage. Although I eat basically the same thing every day, yesterday I did get a lot of heartburn after days of doing very well.
I guess it is just how it goes — ups and downs without any real logic, with a long-term trend of improvement.
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I did eat chicken, which I thought would be fine, but perhaps the seasonings do come into play and can cause heartburn even if the protein and fat do not. My chiro just sent me this link. I am concerned if I cannot eat some of the sweets mostly pumpkin muffins and other gluten free products. These are made locally, so did not have the stuff that no one should be eating. This might cause more weight loss than I can afford. I have been following an Ayurvedic diet, which excludes brown rice, soy and all nightshades.
I have been using Basmati rice which I will change to Jasmine. I also have a small sliding hiatal hernia. I also use Aloe and DGL and drink lots of water.
I did have the breath test for h pylori years ago which was negative. Thank you for your time. Hi Marty, If you need to add some sweets you can prepare them with Splenda, dextrose or even maltose, though I would watch the latter two until your symptoms are under control. One of the problems with gluten free diets is that they have too much resistant starch because they only limit starches from wheat, barley and rye.
Many celiacs therefor are consuming too much resistant starch in the form of corn, certain potatoes and rices and even bananas. I would stop the DGL as most brands contain sugar alcohols. If you would like more specific help with what to eat, feel free to drop us a line under the counseling tab.
Thanks for your reply. I do not eat corn products, except polenta at times, no bananas. I eat Jasmine rice, no potatoes, except sweet potatoes. I will look where you directed me. I believe Gluten Free diets are not healthy. Choices are limited though better than 8 years ago. You have to read labels really carefully. Will that have the list of foods and there fermentability? I am curious about garlic and onions on this plan. These are major triggers for me. The print book is scheduled for release by the end of April.
The book will have FP tables that include garlic and onions. Sorry Kate. For the time being, you could look up the carb counts and assume a glycemic index unless someone tested these foods of 48 conservative for potatoes based on sweet potatoes. That will allow you to calculate a rough FP. I just took antibiotics for sibo. Now it seems like I have to eat meats and some veggies or just starve. Splenda, stevia, organic raw honey or what? Is it safe for sebo?
I hear you Joe. We all wish we could eat like we did as teenagers. But I think you will be surprised by the recipes in the Fast Tract Digestion books. For instance, the sticky rice cereal is easy to make, delicious and creamy, and you can sweeten either with Splenda, dextrose or even maltose better not to use honey. I have not tried this new Splenda sweetener based on monk fruit, but I am very curious now that you mention it.
I had a recent Metametrix stool test that showed these results. How low carb and fp would be beneficial for me to go? How high fat? Are there any particular foods I should avoid based on these infections? Lastly, do u feel that the natural antimicrobials like oil of oregano and grapefruit seed extract are helpful? The Fast Tract Diet limits the amount of carbohydrate fuel that supports the growth of all intestinal microorganisms including yeast and other fungi as well as many parasites.
In your case, knowing what specific organisms are causing the problem would be very helpful. Parasitic microorganisms can be tough to get rid of because they have well developed virulence factors that allow them to attach, feed and reproduce in the digestive tract. Many of these specific parasites or fungi may require powerful antiparasitic or antifungal drugs to dislodge them. I would focus more on limiting carbs than fats or proteins. You should avoid high carb or high FP foods.
I recommend you discuss any ideas on this site with your own health care provider to arrive at a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment strategy tailored to your specific situation. I wish i knew the strains. I have bad uc and gerd. Low carb is hard for me bc i get constipation, which flares the uc.
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What would be a good general macronutrient ratio? Your diet sounds pretty reasonable. Fast Tract Digestion IBS- coming soon- has lots of information on constipation including a detailed section on the four basic types of laxative. Here are a few suggestions. Loose the legumes which can make matters worse. Add more green leafy veggies. Drink lots of water. Consume more olive oil. Antacids and some pain medicines such as Tylenol 1, 2, 3 and 4, which contain codeine, can cause constipation.
I would be really sad to cut them out bc i make a good sauce with them.
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I am trying hcl and digestive enzynes. But Idk if these are making things worse? So, having macronutrient parameters helps. Any advice on the physical symptoms? Yes, peas are a legume, but not quite as symptom provoking as beans. Just keep daily FP grams under 40 might be even better if your symptoms are persistent. The enzymes should be OK to try. On low carb, the human body easily adjusts making blood sugar from protein.
Hypoglycemia should not be an issue. But the Fast Tract Diet is flexible for people who want more carbs. Just focus on reducing high FP carbs. It is supposedly gone now, but i dont want that bugger to come back!! Yeast would love to consume refined carbs, but these are also the carbs preferentially absorbed leaving few available for yeast or other gut microbes. The brown rice tortillas have an estimated FP of about 12 grams. BTW, K. I have also read a few posts about low sulfur for Candida.
The best overall approach is low FP, low carb, low starch type diets while addressing any existing immune system deficiency that can allow yeast Candida to become established. Also avoid antibiotics, hormone treatments and other drugs that can promote yeast overgrowth wherever possible. It might not hurt to try a probiotic containing Lactobacillus acidophilus though there is little information on the effectiveness of this approach. Dear Norm, First of all I would like to express my deep gratitude for your great insights and research! I got an electronic version of your book through Amazon, read it the same day and was ecstatic to find something that actually explained the problem behind GERD and presenting such a brilliant solution for it!
I have been experiencing severe GERD symptoms for about 3 months, it started abruptly and seemed to never end. By the end of the 3d month, my esophagus was so bad that I had trouble breathing. I felt so hopeless. I then discovered a Candida diet and tried a strict candida diet for 4 days. I ate exclusively vegetables onion, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, artichoke and eggs for those 4 days, my vegetable portion was quite low about grams per meal 3 times a day.
I had a horrible acid reflux all those 4 days. The worst one was after dinner of one boiled artichoke and one boiled egg. I discovered your book and eliminated all veggies all fiber and instantly within a day felt like a human being again. I have been on your diet for 3 days now and have not had a single acid reflux episode!! It is just like a miracle! On a diet of just veggies and eggs I had a bad heartburn still, although the FP of those veggies was not great.
I probably was having FP of about 10 per day. I have heard of ways of lowering GI of a meal or food by adding vinegar, fat or eating it with protein. Rice for sushi is always seasoned with vinegar for example; I always put butter or ghee in my rice and often eat it with protein of some kind. Does that mean that the FP of a meal gets higher in this case with GI being lower?
Thank you so much for you work and for your time!! Hi Olga, I really appreciate your comments. I like the way you embrace the scientific approach and question everything. I am not sure why your last diet did not work, despite the fact that the veggies were of the low FP variety. But I am glad the Fast Tract Diet is working. I can comment on one thing. Even though eggs have zero FP by definition and overall appear to be a very safe food for heartburn, once in a great while, I get heartburn after eating them.
When I assess which foods may have caused my very infrequent reflux, I look back for the last full 24 hours to see if I can identify foods that may have contributed. Also, you bring up a good point about the affect of vinegar, fats of protein. While some foods will lower the GI and hence raise the FP of other foods, the FP system just compares foods to one another without adjusting for these affects. I figure if you start with the safest foods, even some influence from things like vinegar, fats and proteins on the FP will be less significant compared to high FP foods.
I recommend using your observation as an additional tool to pull out when and if you have any breakthrough symptoms. The diet u ate was very high sukfur. Some people have a genetic sulfur clearance issue with the cbs gene. Supps like molybdenum can help, but only take small doses, like 30mg. Test ur sulfate level with quantofix sulfur strip. Addingyucca and bbutyrate supps can help clear excess ammonia too,which often goes hand in hand wwith cbs issues. Sulfur is essential to live, so don't go completely sulfur free… But u may need to watch ur intake for a short while.
Bad gut hugs can influence this sukfur intolerance issue, and if u have other genetic polymorphisms snps , these might influence ur ability to methylated, detox, and tolerate certain foods. Dear Amy, Thank you so much for you input! I do still eat eggs on this diet, about a day and since I eliminated all veggies I have not had an incident of heartburn which tells me that my reaction while on Candida diet was probably to fiber in vegetables. Or maybe there has not passed enough time yet and all the hell will fall on me in two or three days?
I am curious though about this issue and would like to test myself for my sulfate level. Where can one get quantofix sulfur strips? Also, is this condition genetic or it can also develop with age? I am cautious to introduce anything else at this point since the diet I am on is working now.
I will be introducing other things gradually in the future and see what my reaction is. Sulfur issue is definitely worth exploring more which what I will definitely do. U can get ur genes tested thru 23andme. Cbs is a gene that can make people sensitive to sulfur if it is activated.
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Taking small doses of molybdenum can help like 30mcg and working up , in addition to avoiding foods that cause issues look up foods high in thiols. I wonder if the occasional problem with eggs could be related to what the egg-laying chicken has been fed. If the chicken was fed GMO soy and corn, I suspect her egg could be problematic, whereas an egg from a hen allowed to eat free-range might not cause any issues.
Hi Lynn, Thanks for catching the show. On eggs you never know.
I recently was having almost immediate diarrhea right after eating eggs. But like an idiot? When I put them in a pan of water, they all bobbed in the water — full of gas, a sure indication that they had become contaminated with bacteria. I bought new eggs which sank to the bottom of the pan and the problem was solved. Dear Norm, Thank you so much for your quick response! I absolutely agree with you , sometimes something that has been eaten a while ago may still have an effect and one should always examine the foods consumed at least within 24 hour period.
I used to get bad heartburn in the mornings after drinking a glass of water on an empty stomach. I even told my doctor that I had heartburn from everything even water. I think in my case I should be careful with eating any vegetables even low FP ones. Apparently bacteria in my gut love vegetables even more than I do. I have not had any problems with eggs before, although I did stumble upon an article about egg whites being difficult to digest by people with compromised digestion, due to having protein inhibitors and anti nutrients in them.
I am curious about your thoughts on nightshade vegetables. I wonder if any of your patients ever had bad reaction to them. Thank you so much for your time and expertise! Thank you… this will be well-recommended to a number of people I know who are suffering. The primary issue is extreme gas, which has been continuing to build and build. I am already underweight, and a high school teacher, and have not been able to cut out carbs completely, however. Tested negative for SIBO but know false negatives are common, and figure my problems lie farther down the tract as I suffer no real upper GI complaints.
Blastocystis has shown up before and docs have offered to give me Flagyl, with the caveat that it would likely make my situation worse.
Is the culprit of this extreme flatulence a general overgrowth, the wrong bacteria, blastocystis, or some unfound parasite?? The gas has become so extremely horrible and controlling that I am becoming severely depressed. Also, the more fiber I cut the more constipated I seem to become… quite a catch in my current situation. Any recommendations there? Thanks a ton. I assuming you mean that the test no growth was negative for Enterococcus species and positive for 2 Clostridium species. I would not worry about the results unless specific pathogenic disease-causing organisms are present.
Both Enterococcus and Clostridium species are normal parts of most people intestinal flora. If you were positive for C. Hi Jon, blastocystis is weakened by the enzymes lipase and serrapeptase. Lipase dissolves the fatty cell walls of the blastocystis so the agent you are using to treat the blastocystis can penetrate to the organism and work more effectively.
Serrapeptase is an enzyme which dissolves non-living matter in the body, so will dissolve the biofilm which the blastocystis coats the intestines with. Incidentally, serrapeptase also treats candida. In this study, when researchers gave mice bred to be apoliprotein-E deficient a purified diet containing either casein, the principal protein in dairy products, rice protein or soy protein, the mice given casein developed the largest atherosclerotic lesions.
In humans as well as animals, apolipoprotein E plays an important role in cholesterol transport, so a deficiency of this protein increases risk for the development of atherosclerosis. Mice given rice or soy protein fared much better. In trying to understand why, the researchers evaluated blood levels of nitric oxide. Mice fed either rice or soy protein diets were found to have increased blood levels of L-arginine the amino acid that the body uses to produce nitric oxide and nitric oxide metabolites when compared to those given casein-based feed. However, the L-arginine content of the rice and soy diets was not high enough to explain the amount of protective benefit they conferred, so the researchers concluded that these foods must also contain other cardioprotective compounds.
Fiber from Whole Grains and Fruit Protective against Breast Cancer When researchers looked at how much fiber 35, participants in the UK Women's Cohort Study ate, they found a diet rich in fiber from whole grains, such as brown rice, and fruit offered significant protection against breast cancer for pre-menopausal women. Fiber from fruit was also protective. Practical Tip: As the following table shows, it's surprisingly easy to enjoy a healthy way of eating that delivers at least 13 grams of whole grain fiber and 6 grams of fiber from fruit each day.
Food Fiber Content in Grams Oatmeal, 1 cup 3. Help Prevent Gallstones Eating foods high in insoluble fiber, such as brown rice, can help women avoid gallstones, shows a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. How do foods rich in insoluble fiber help prevent gallstones? Researchers think insoluble fiber not only speeds intestinal transit time how quickly food moves through the intestines , but reduces the secretion of bile acids excessive amounts contribute to gallstone formation , increases insulin sensitivity and lowers triglycerides blood fats.
Abundant not just in brown rice but all whole grains, insoluble fiber is also found in nuts and the edible skin of fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, cucumbers, many squash, apples, berries, and pears. In addition, beans provide insoluble as well as soluble fiber. The researchers, from the Dutch National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Utrecht University, University Medical Center Groningen, used food frequency questionnaires completed by the parents of Dutch children aged years. They assessed the children's consumption of a range of foods including fish, fruits, vegetables, dairy and whole grain products.
Data on asthma and wheezing were also assessed using medical tests as well as questionnaires. While no association between asthma and intake of fruits, vegetables, and dairy products was found a result at odds with other studies that have supported a link between antioxidant intake, particularly vitamins C and E, and asthma , the children's intake of both whole grains and fish was significantly linked to incidence of wheezing and current asthma. Low intake of fish and whole grains also correlated with a much higher incidence of current asthma Lead researcher, CoraTabak commented, "The rise in the prevalence of asthma in western societies may be related to changed dietary habits.
The Standard American Diet is sorely deficient in the numerous anti-inflammatory compounds found in fish and whole grains, notably, the omega-3 fats supplied by cold water fish and the magnesium and vitamin E provided by whole grains. One caution: wheat may need to be avoided as it is a common food allergen associated with asthma. Meta-analysis Explains Whole Grains' Health Benefits In many studies, eating whole grains, such as brown rice, has been linked to protection against atherosclerosis, ischemic stroke, diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, and premature death.
A new study and accompanying editorial, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explains the likely reasons behind these findings and recommends at least 3 servings of whole grains should be eaten daily. Whole grains are concentrated sources of fiber. But it's not just fiber's ability to serve as a bulking agent that is responsible for its beneficial effects as a component of whole grains. In addition to the matrix of nutrients in their dietary fibers, the whole-grain arsenal includes a wide variety of additional nutrients and phytochemicals that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Compounds in whole grains that have cholesterol-lowering effects include polyunsaturated fatty acids, oligosaccharides, plant sterols and stanols, and saponins. Whole grains are also important dietary sources of water-soluble, fat-soluble, and insoluble antioxidants. The long list of cereal antioxidants includes vitamin E, tocotrieonols, selenium, phenolic acids, and phytic acid.
These multifunctional antioxidants come in immediate-release to slow-release forms and thus are available throughout the gastrointestinal tract over a long period after being consumed. The high antioxidant capacity of wheat bran, for example, is fold that of refined wheat flour endosperm. Although the role of antioxidant supplements in protecting against cardiovascular disease has been questioned, prospective population studies consistently suggest that when consumed in whole foods, antioxidants are associated with significant protection against cardiovascular disease.
Because free radical damage to cholesterol appears to contribute significantly to the development of atherosclerosis, the broad range of antioxidant activities from the phytonutrients abundant in whole grains is thought to play a strong role in their cardio-protective effects. Like soybeans, whole grains are good sources of phytoestrogens, plant compounds that may affect blood cholesterol levels, blood vessel elasticity, bone metabolism, and many other cellular metabolic processes.
Whole grains are rich sources of lignans that are converted by the human gut to enterolactone and enterodiole. In studies of Finnish men, blood levels of enterolactone have been found to have an inverse relation not just to cardiovascular-related death, but to all causes of death, which suggests that the plant lignans in whole grains may play an important role in their protective effects. Lower insulin levels may also contribute to the protective effects of whole grains.
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