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Whole Grain Benefits

Should we consider the microbiome to be another organ?



In this article, we hear from two UK-based researchers whose work focuses on obesity and metabolism: Dr. Petra Hanson and Dr. Thomas M. Barber. They discuss the microbiome, the marketing hype behind probiotics, and the future direction of research.

Share on PinterestAre Probiotics As Good For Us As Some Claim To Do? Евгения Матвеец / Getty Images

Dr. Hanson and Dr. Barber work at Warwick Medical School and the National Health Service (NHS) Trust of Coventry & Warwickshire University Hospitals. They are both members of the Warwick Obesity Network.

Browsing the shelves of many stores these days reveals a growing consumer excitement for probiotics that has gone well beyond yogurt. Probiotics are found in dozens of supplements. They give shampoo, toothpaste, skin care products, and snacks to people and pets. They are even a feature of some hypoallergenic mattresses.

The probiotic buzz comes from growing scientific attention and recognition of the importance of our gut microbiome – the accumulation of bacteria that live in our large intestines.

Researchers are studying the gut microbiome for its potential to promote myriad aspects of physical and mental health. This potential is causing excitement about the prospect of improving our health – and possibly containing the obesity epidemic – by improving our gut bacteria.

These are the ways the University of Warwick researchers have concluded that the medical community should view the gut microbiome almost like an organ in its own right.

As with other organs, the gut microbiome can make us uncomfortable if we don’t properly care for it. Conversely, it has the power to promote health and wellbeing if we take care of it properly.

“We know that the human microbiome is crucial for healthy physiological processes. Our research shows that it plays many and varied roles – for example in the normal development of the immune system, in mediating inflammatory pathways and metabolic processes, and in regulating appetite. “

– Dr. Hanson

For example, a recent high-profile, high-quality study in natural medicine documents new, significant associations between health and gut biomes that associate certain microbes with healthy and unhealthy outcomes.

Some types of bacteria appear to be associated with decreased appetite, lower body weight, and decreased overall inflammatory status. Recent research by Warwick Medical School has shown that other types of bacteria are linked to poor metabolic status. Additionally, scientists recently linked a specific microbial pattern to healthier aging.

So far, we have only identified about 1,000 of what we believe are likely to be millions of microorganisms in the human body.

By the age of 3 the gut microbiota is established, but we know that various factors can alter its diversity and development. These factors include host genetics, diet, age, type of birth, and antibiotics, as well as probiotics, fecal microbiota transplants, and prebiotics.

“So far, data from human studies has mainly come from observational data. There is still enough evidence missing to say healthier, more diverse microbiomes lead to better metabolic health. We can only say that these microbiomes are associated with better results. This is a completely different standard. “

– Dr. Barber

Amid larger scientific research and growing public interest, marketers sell many products based on unproven promises. In order to get rid of the clutter of advertising claims and analyze the merits of the number of items on the shelves, we need to distinguish between fads and facts. This is where we give our opinion on what the latest scientific findings tell us.

Scientists believe probiotics maintain the balance of normal gut microbiota and improve the immune system. Recent research suggests that certain types of probiotics may benefit certain disease states.

Despite the popularity of probiotics in recent years, there is insufficient evidence of the benefits of probiotics and their safety, including the possible side effects.

Recent work has explored the benefits of transplanting fecal bacteria from healthy donors into people with intestinal disease to restore the function of healthy gut microbiota.

Such transplants can treat a variety of diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, metabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases, allergic disorders, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

These procedures are far more effective than probiotics – the effects of transplants on microbiota last about 24 weeks, compared to 14 days for probiotics.

Plant-based foods are a source of prebiotics, which stimulate the growth of intestinal bacteria. Research has shown that prebiotics have three characteristics:

  • They resist absorption in the digestive tract.
  • The microbiome can ferment them.
  • They can have a positive impact on health through direct or indirect effects of the microbiome.

Fiber, mostly from plant foods, is the main source of prebiotics. People can classify fiber as one of two types: soluble, which helps lower cholesterol and glucose levels, or insoluble, which helps move material through the digestive system.

The main sources of soluble fiber are fruits and vegetables. Although grains and whole grains provide insoluble fiber, most high-fiber foods contain both types of fiber.

The current recommended dietary fiber intake for adults in most European countries and the United States is 30 to 35 grams per day (g / day) for men and 25 to 32 g / day for women. Recent research by Warwick scientists confirms the extent of the existing gap.

These results suggest that most of us should increase our fiber intake by around 50%.

As the team’s recent research has shown, the health benefits of fiber are widely recognized. They reduce myriad health problems, including obesity, chronic inflammation, depression, and the risk of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer. Importantly, this work also highlights the beneficial effects of fiber on the human microbiome.

We’re still learning exactly how it all works. However, we do know that fiber promotes the production of important microbial molecules that trigger a response that promotes overall health and wellbeing.

While the interaction between the gut microbiota and the brain is still unclear, it is likely to be complex and multidirectional. We still have to discover the exact mechanisms.

Insights into the broader role of the microbiome in overall human physical and mental health are emerging. In the meantime, the takeaway message for the general public remains simple:

Eat a lot of fiber. Eat a variety of unprocessed foods. Eat fruits and vegetables. You have better metabolic health as well as a more diverse gut microbiome.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Enriched grains benefits for women touted | 2020-08-13



WASHINGTON – Encouraging the consumption of fortified grain products, including bread, pasta, and rice, is central to providing counseling to obstetricians for pregnant women and women of childbearing potential, said Bruce Young, MD, a leader in the field Obstetrics and Gynecology.

In response to the committee’s recently published scientific report, Dr. Young suggested that foods fortified with folic acid should be part of the diet of women of childbearing potential. Dr. Young addressed the committee on Aug. 11 as a member of the Grain Foods Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board. In addition to the GFF, Dr. Young’s comments were made on behalf of a coalition of grain groups known as the Grain Chain.

Providing patient advice that maximizes the likelihood of a positive pregnancy outcome for a woman and her baby is central to the practice of gynecologists and obstetricians, said Dr. Young. Diet plays an important role in such guidelines.

Bruce Young, MD, a leader in obstetrics and gynecology and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Grain Foods Foundation.

“As a clinician, I care for normal and high-risk pregnant women as we strive to have healthy pregnancies that result in healthy babies,” he said. “We know firsthand how this diet plays an important role in these healthy results. We emphasize the importance of eating foods fortified with folic acid such as fortified bread, cereal, fortified pasta, ground rice, and tortillas before conception to prevent neural tube defects.

“We explain that the critical phase is in the first few weeks of pregnancy, often before the patient knows she is pregnant. Therefore, foods fortified with folic acid should be part of the daily diet. Since many women are iron deficient, we explain the critical role iron plays in meeting the increased need during pregnancy to produce maternal and fetal blood. We try to recommend appropriate weight gain and to promote proper nutrition during pregnancy as it is vital for healthy women and babies. “

Dr. Young’s observations contradicted the results of the DGAC’s scientific study that encouraged women of childbearing age to eat more whole grains and avoid fortified grains.

In relation to the research he was doing on the subject, Dr. Young conducted a study of 250 women who received a defined pregnancy diet, with the study group split between those who consumed a 75% whole grain diet and those who consumed a 75% fortified grain diet. He said the diets are otherwise the same. The study included a number of compliance measures.

The study found no “difference in results for maternal and neonatal parameters between diets for maternal weight gain, birth weight, Apgar score, subcutaneous fat, hypertension, preeclampsia and glucose tolerance,” he said. Both groups gained weight in accordance with pregnancy.

Dr. Young made significant emphasis on the importance of fiber in the diet, noting that in the study, the two study groups had similar amounts of fiber each day – 30 grams for the whole grain group and 25 grams for the fortified grain group.

“Our data shows that in pregnancy, both diets – fortified refined grains and whole grains – contain enough fiber and nutrients to produce healthy results with no significant difference in outcome between them,” he said.

The implications of his research go beyond recommendations for pregnant women, said Dr. Young.

“Aside from pregnancy, all grains, refined and whole, make valuable contributions to our health,” he said. “To tackle the obesity epidemic, Americans need clear dietary recommendations based on strong evidence from randomized controlled trials.”

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Whole Grain Benefits

A Nutritionist Reveals The Real Reason We Crave Comfort Food When It’s Cold



Do we really ask for more in cold weather?

While it’s hard to argue that shaking is considered a sport, your body uses extra energy to avoid losing heat from the body during the cooler months. This could explain that Correlation between colder temperatures and increased calorie consumption, although the difference is very small and hardly warrants another serving of mashed potatoes.

Our circadian rhythms (also known as “your body clock”) are cycles in the body that last about 24 hours Hours and controls critical functions from hunger to hormone regulation. In the cooler months when the hours of sunshine are limited, our glands respond by producing more melatonin, a hormone that affects sleep by sending a signal to your brain that it is time to rest, making you feel more sluggish during the day or feel more tired. The problem is, higher levels of melatonin can have its effects Effect on appetite by stimulating the effects of several important metabolic hormones such as insulin, ghrelin and leptin. Combined with cold temperatures or stress, this feeling of fatigue can require a quick burst of energy and a desire for more energetic food.

Another hormone that can take a deep dip when sunlight breaks is serotonin Mood swings. Foods high in carbohydrates promote serotonin production, which explains why it is natural to self-medicate with a bag of chips for a quick mood boost.

In addition to the physiological changes, the colder temperatures can mean fewer opportunities for outdoor exercise. Hence, sitting on the couch and choosing Netflix and a cup of hot chocolate can be a far more comfortable option than walking on the sidewalk. When we spend more time indoors, we’re inevitably more busy eating than usual, which is trivial pointless snacking more likely.

How to keep calorie creep to a minimum in cold weather

You can still satisfy carbohydrate cravings and get the same calming feelings from winter foods that contain ingredients that are good for you. Simply switch to whole grain, high fiber carbohydrates for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

According to the Australian Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council, most Aussies eat “core foods” (like bread, breakfast cereals, pasta, and rice) every day, but only about 30% of those are whole grains, so most of us don’t get our health benefits, up to three times the amount in fiber and 80% more minerals such as iron and zinc. Unlike refined grains that have been stripped of bran and germs, whole grains retain many important nutrients and bioactive substances such as vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, healthy fats and lots of fiber. All adults should aim for a daily whole grain goal of 48g.

Simple ways to meet your whole grain goal during the colder months include taking a break from refined breakfast cereals, white bread, regular noodles, white rice, and salty crackers as well switch to a bowl of porridge with UNCLE TOBYS Traditional oat flakes with compote and yoghurt, multigrain bread with poached eggs, a warming soup with high-fiber legumes and buckwheat noodles or a hearty pumpkin risotto with barley. When the urge to nibble gets big, opt for high-fiber whole grains like oat-based granola bars (I love the new UNCLE TOBYS Lemon Yogurty Drizzle Bars) or brown rice crackers with added protein like nut butter or humus. The key is to combine a lean source of protein with high-quality carbohydrates to stabilize blood sugar levels and keep food cravings at bay.

If possible, it is also good to go outside during the day and try to get some sun on your exposed skin to replenish your vitamin D and serotonin levels for an extra mood boost.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Are Cheerios Healthy? Nutrients, Flavors, and More



Cheerios have been a household staple in the United States since their introduction in 1941.

They are still some of the most popular breakfast cereals on the market and are now available worldwide.

Despite being marketed as nutritious, you might be wondering whether Cheerios are a healthy choice – and how the different strains compare.

This article examines the nutrients, flavors, and cons of Cheerios to help you determine if they are a good fit with your routine.

Cheerios are mainly made from whole grain oats.

Whole grains contain all parts of the grain, so they tend to provide more nutrients than refined grains. In addition, consuming high-fiber whole grains can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease (1).

In addition, Cheerios are low in calories and fat. They also have several essential nutrients that many people don’t get enough of, such as fiber and vitamin D (2, 3).

Notably, 1 cup (28 grams) of Cheerios provides 45% of the Daily Value (DV) of iron, which many people are deficient in. This mineral plays a vital role in transporting oxygen through your body (4, 5).

Keep in mind, however, that many of these nutrients, including iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, are added during processing and are not naturally occurring.

One cup (28 grams) of plain Cheerios without milk provides (4):

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 20 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Sugar: 1 gram
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Vitamin A: 10% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 10% of the DV
  • Vitamin D: 10% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 25% of the DV
  • Calcium: 10% of the DV
  • Iron: 45% of the DV
  • Zinc: 25% of the DV

As you can see, Cheerios are very low in calories and lacking in protein and fat. For these reasons, they alone do not provide a balanced meal.

With 1 cup (244 grams) of 2% cow’s milk, you get an extra 122 calories, 8 grams of protein, and a boost in fat, calcium, and vitamin D (6).

If you choose non-dairy milk, which is usually low in protein, add a handful of pumpkin seeds or sliced ​​almonds to your granola for a plant-based source of protein.

Adding protein to any meal or snack can help make you feel full.

After all, Cheerios are very affordable compared to many other breakfast items.

They are kid friendly

Children aged 8 months and over can safely enjoy Cheerios, but only if they are willing to eat solid foods (7).

They are good finger food for toddlers and do not pose a great risk of suffocation, as they are easily soft when wet.

Cheerios can be a great way to get more whole grains and iron into your child’s diet. Still, it’s important not to rely on them too much. You should try to use plenty of whole foods from each food group to support optimal growth and development.


Cheerios are made primarily from whole grains and contain a variety of important nutrients, including iron, fiber, and vitamin D.

Cheerios come in different flavors. In fact, there are at least 15 varieties – seasonal varieties occasionally appear.

Most are made from whole grain oats, but some varieties contain other grains, added sugars, and additional ingredients.

Some of the most popular Cheerios flavors are:

  • Easy. These are the original cheerios and are the simplest option. The first ingredient is oats. They only contain 1 gram of added sugar and no additional flavoring.
  • Honey nut. These are one of the best-selling varieties, sweetened with sugar and honey and a hint of almond flavor.
  • Chocolate. This variety is made from corn and oats, as well as cocoa powder and sugar.
  • Apple Cinnamon. Made primarily from whole grain oats and sugar, this variety also contains applesauce and cinnamon.
  • Frosted. These are made from whole grain oats and corn flour and sweetened with a sugar coating with a vanilla flavor.
  • Multigrain. This variety combines whole grain oats, corn, and brown rice. It’s sweetened with a little less sugar than other varieties.
  • Ancient grains. This variety is sweetened with sugar and is made from whole grain oats, quinoa, and rice.

You may find that many of the flavored Cheerios varieties have added sugar. When trying to cut down on your sugar intake, it is best to limit your intake of the sugary flavors or just go for the simple option.


Cheerios come in many flavors. While most are based on whole grain oats, some contain additional ingredients like added sugar.

While cheerios are generally a nutritious choice, they are short in certain areas.

Very low in protein

Breakfast cereals are often marketed as a complete meal. However, most of them are very low in protein – and Cheerios are no exception.

Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. Including a quality source of protein in every meal is one of the best ways to ensure that you are getting your body’s daily protein needs.

The recommended protein intake is at least 0.36 grams per pound (0.8 grams per kg) of body weight. For someone who weighs 68 kg, this equates to a total of around 55 grams of protein daily (8).

A 1-cup (28 gram) serving of Cheerios with 4 ounces (120 ml) whole or low-fat cow’s milk provides only about 7 grams of protein, most of which comes from the milk.

If you plan to have Cheerios as a meal, consider pairing it with a source of protein such as eggs, Greek yogurt, or scrambled tofu eggs. You can also add a handful of nuts or a spoonful of nut butter to your bowl for protein and healthy fats.

Can package added sugar

Several types of Cheerios contain large amounts of added sugar.

For example, 1 cup (35 grams) of Honey Nut Cheerios contains 12 grams of sugar – a whopping 12 times as much sugar as the simple variety (9).

Excessive sugar consumption is linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. In addition, it can contribute to excessive caloric intake and unhealthy weight gain (10, 11).

The American Heart Association recommends limiting daily sugar intake to 9 teaspoons (37.5 grams) for men and 6 teaspoons (25 grams) for women (12).

While occasional sugar consumption is unlikely to be harmful, it is a good idea to be careful how much you eat, especially if cheerios are a staple in your diet or you routinely consume more than one serving at a time.

Opting for the simple strain is the best option to keep your sugar intake low.

Cheerios are considered processed foods

Cheerios are a processed grain product, which means that the ingredients used to make Cheerios undergo significant processing to create the final product.

Although Cheerios are made with whole grain oats, which sets them apart from other grains with more refined grains like cornmeal or white rice, many varieties of Cheerios are filled with unhealthy ingredients like cane sugar, corn syrup, and preservatives (13).

In addition, because of the processing that the oats go through to make Cheerios, eating a bowl of Cheerios is not the same as enjoying a bowl of oatmeal.

A study of 30 adults found that consuming Honey Nut Cheerios resulted in a much greater blood sugar and insulin response compared to consuming equal servings of less processed grain products, including steel cut and old-fashioned oats (14).

Although honey-nut cheerios are high in added sugar and are therefore much more likely to raise blood sugar than unsweetened grains, studies have shown that processing whole grains in general significantly affects blood sugar response, with more refined products delivering higher blood sugar and insulin spikes (15, 16, 17).

While the occasional enjoyment of Cheerios won’t harm your health, it’s best to choose less processed options whenever possible, especially if you’ve regularly consumed sweetened varieties of Cheerios.

For example, instead of your morning bowl of honey and nut cheerios, try a bowl of oatmeal with berries and a dollop of natural nut butter.


Cheerios are a low protein, processed grain product and some flavors are high in sugar. You can balance your nutritional intake by adding a source of protein and moderating your consumption of the higher sugars.

Cheerios can be a healthy and nutritious part of almost any diet, but it’s important to balance your diet with other nutrients and exercise in moderation if you prefer the higher sugars.

For more protein, serve your Cheerios with high-protein or non-dairy milk, plus a scoop of nut butter or a handful of nuts. Hard-boiled eggs and omelets are also great accompaniments.

Topping your muesli with berries or sliced ​​fruits can increase your vitamin and mineral intake, while flax flour, hemp seeds, and chia seeds can add fiber and healthy fats.

Just make sure you eat a diverse selection of whole foods throughout the day to meet all of your nutritional needs.


While Cheerios can be part of a healthy diet, you may want to combine them with a source of protein for a more balanced meal. It is best to avoid or limit your intake of high-sugar options.

Cheerios are classic breakfast cereals made from whole grain products. Not only are they low in fat and calories, but they’re affordable and packed full of essential vitamins and minerals.

Cheerios, however, are a processed food, and some flavors are loaded with sugar.

Therefore, you should minimize your intake or choose low-sugar varieties such as simple or multigrain. You can also increase the protein content with nuts or nut butters.

While these breakfast cereals can certainly be part of a healthy diet, you should also consume a variety of whole foods to meet your body’s nutritional needs.

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