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Does Eating Wheat Lead to Weight Gain?

Is wheat the bad guy?

It seems everyone is eliminating wheat from their diet.  Some fear wheat is contributing to weight gain, and many are following the lead of popular celebrities and books.  Brigham and Women’s Hospital published a great article on WHEAT FACTS below.  Also learn more about general guidelines and a wheat allergy diet.  Important info ladies.

By Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Wheat-free diets are endorsed by some celebrities and the focus of some dietary books; the premise being that wiping out wheat will whittle away unwanted pounds. No one food group, however, is the culprit for excess weight gain or the panacea for weight loss.

In fact, eating whole-wheat items assists one in consuming whole grains and getting much needed fiber and a variety of key nutrients. What you need to watch out for is the type of wheat foods you’re eating as it is found in many foods that also are packed with calories and low in nutrients. Think baked goods, white bread, low-fiber/sugary cereals to name a few. Less of these foods will generally trim calories and ultimately lead to weight loss, providing one doesn’t add excess calories from other sources. For some individuals such as those with wheat allergies, celiac disease or gluten intolerance, limiting wheat is essential. For others, there’s no need to delete wheat unless you desire. Here are some suggestions for eating wheat in a healthy way:

  • Start your day with a cold cereal – look for whole wheat as the first ingredient.
  • Try whole-wheat varieties of pancakes and waffles topped with fruit.
  • Use whole-wheat pitas, breads or deli-flats when making sandwiches.
  • Switch to whole-wheat pastas. Or as an introduction, mix some whole wheat into your regular pasta.
  • Try whole-wheat couscous.
  • Substitute half whole-wheat flour for recipes calling for flour.
  • Top whole-wheat crackers with hummus, low-fat cheese, or nut butters.
  • Wrap a whole-wheat tortilla around peanut butter and banana or eggs and salsa.

These whole wheat versions will be more likely to keep you fuller longer, a helpful aid in keeping calories in check. Consider preparing this healthy and delicious recipe that features whole wheat couscous: Greek Couscous Salad with Walnuts.

Are You Allergic to Wheat?

If you are allergic to the protein found in wheat, it’s important to read food labels and learn more about wheat substitutes. Learn more about general guidelines and a wheat allergy diet.

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Science

Gastrointestinal Cancers Likely Reduced By Consumption Of Green Tea

Women who drink green tea may lower their risk of developing some digestive system cancers, especially cancers of the stomach/esophagus and colorectum, according to a study led by researchers from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

The study by lead author Sarah Nechuta, Ph.D., MPH, assistant professor of Medicine, was published online in advance of the Nov. 1 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Wei Zheng, M.D., Ph.D., MPH, professor of Medicine, chief of the Division of Epidemiology and director of the Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, was the principal investigator for the study.

To determine green tea’s impact on cancer risk, the investigators surveyed women enrolled in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study, a population-based study of approximately 75,000 middle-aged and older Chinese women. During the initial interview participants were asked if they drank tea, the type of tea consumed and how much they consumed. Most of the Chinese women reported drinking primarily green tea.

The researchers found that regular tea consumption, defined as tea consumption at least three times a week for more than six months, was associated with a 17 percent reduced risk of all digestive cancers combined. A further reduction in risk was found to be associated with an increased level of tea drinking. Specifically, those who consumed about two to three cups per day (at least 150 grams of tea per month) had a 21 percent reduced risk of digestive system cancers.

The trend toward fewer digestive cancers was strongest for stomach/esophageal and colorectal cancers.

“For all digestive system cancers combined, the risk was reduced by 27 percent among women who had been drinking tea regularly for at least 20 years,” said Nechuta. “For colorectal cancer, risk was reduced by 29 percent among the long-term tea drinkers. These results suggest long-term cumulative exposure may be particularly important.”

Tea contains polyphenols or natural chemicals that include catechins like EGCG and ECG. Catechins have antioxidant properties and may inhibit cancer by reducing DNA damage and blocking tumor cell growth and invasion.

The researchers also asked about other lifestyle factors including the kinds of food eaten regularly, exercise habits, education level and occupation. Women who had ever smoked or who drank alcohol were excluded from the study.

Regular tea drinkers in the study were younger, had higher education, exercised more and consumed more fruits and vegetables. While the researchers adjusted for these factors, they could not rule out an effect from these and other unmeasured lifestyle habits.

The study was conducted in nonsmoking and nondrinking Chinese women to minimize the potential influence of these two risk factors on the results for tea consumption and digestive system cancer risk.

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