Bread is often touted as the culprit of weight gain, but Swedish researchers have confirmed swapping out bread made from refined flour with rye bread can actually aid weight loss.
The RyeWeight study – published in Clinical Nutrition ESPEN in July – found a hypocaloric diet rich in high fibre rye foods causes greater reduction in body weight and body fat than a diet of refined wheat.
The researchers studied 242 overweight or obese adults with a BMI of 27-35kg/m2, and found the participants on an energy restricted diet of high fibre rye products lost more than 1kg of body weight and 0.54% body fat over a period of 12 weeks than the wheat group.
According to mounting research, whole grains help to prevent coronary heart disease, cancer and premature death. Research suggests that eating just two slices of whole grain bread and one bowl of unrefined grains daily may significantly lower the risk of cardiovascular problems and stroke. Furthermore, these foods may protect against colorectal cancer, diabetes and chronic inflammation due to their high nutritional value.
The fibre king
Taking this a step further, among the group of whole grains, rye is the richest source of dietary fibre. This aids satiety faster and for longer – in fact, up to eight hours longer than refined wheat, according to the RyeWeight scientists.
Unlike other whole grains, rye has a high level of fibre in its endosperm as well as its bran. Because fibre is the part of the plant that our bodies can’t break down, it passes through our system undigested. Combined with adequate fluid intake, it keeps the digestive tract in proper functioning order and reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
It also has a lower glycaemic index (GI) than other grain products, meaning its carbohydrates are broken down into glucose more slowly, keeping blood sugar levels steady.
Furthermore, rye has been linked to a range of other beneficial health effects such as reductions in cholesterol and reductions in low-grade inflammation.
Rye is high in protein, low in fat and a good source of nutrients like manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, B-complex vitamins, phenolic antioxidant compounds and many other vitamins and minerals.
Like wheat, rye is a grain that can be used both in its whole form and in a refined form, according to the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council. Bread made from wholegrain rye flour has a dark colour, while refined rye flour produces a lighter-coloured bread.</…….