The largest study to date shows that they help you lose weight and reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
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Health-conscious cooks often choose to use whole grain products over their refined-grain counterparts, since they’re naturally higher in nutritional value. It’s one of those things that seems intuitive, but are whole grains really healthier?

The answer, it turns out, is yes. A comprehensive study finally proves that choosing to swap white breads and boxed pastas with whole wheat products is healthier.

The study, which was published in the November 2017 issue of the medical journal Gut, looked at 50 adults whose high BMI and glucose levels put them at an elevated risk of of stroke, heart disease and diabetes. Researchers found that participants who cut out refined grains drastically reduced their portion sizes, suggesting that the whole grains helped them to feel fuller, faster. When regularly incorporating whole grains into their meals, dieters also lost considerable weight.

Interestingly, the study also showed that those who ate whole grains suffered less inflammation than their counterparts.

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While you can definitely expect to reap the health benefits of whole wheat products in your own diet, remember that the key is moderation: enjoy grains in appropriate portions alongside your well-balanced diet. The USDA recommends that at least half of grains consumed daily be whole grains—a slice of whole wheat bread, for instance, counts as one serving.

It can also be confusing to identify whole-grain foods in the supermarket aisle. A quick way to recognize if a product contains whole grains is to look for the Whole Grain Stamp, a packaging illustration that indicates how much grain is in a product.

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If you’re looking to incorporate whole grains into your kitchen, we’ve got you covered. This veggie burrito bowl is delicious with brown rice, and you can find more whole-grain recipes right here.