Dissatisﬁed with certain aspects of the industrial, highly processed food system, some people are turning to earlier models of eating centered on wholesome foods and ingredients. But embracing traditional diets means embracing a diet with more whole grains, not fewer. Misguided dieters who avoid this nutritious, sustainable food group are putting themselves at risk of not only nutrient deﬁciencies, but possibly chronic disease and weight problems as well.
Using national health survey data from 9,341 adults in Australia, researchers found that people avoiding core grain foods were signiﬁcantly more likely to be overweight or obese than those who eat grains, despite consuming fewer calories than grain eaters. Grain avoiders also ate fewer fruits, vegetables and less ﬁber. After adjusting for age, sex, and calorie intake, avoiding grains was also linked with a higher BMI and waist size. Part of this could be attributed to whole grains’ beneﬁcial eﬀect on metabolism and the gut microbiome.