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Cereal grains, legumes, and weight management: a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence

Peter G Williams, Sara J Grafenauer, Jane E O'Shea
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2008.00022.x 171-182 First published online: 1 April 2008

Abstract

There is strong evidence that a diet high in whole grains is associated with lower body mass index, smaller waist circumference, and reduced risk of being overweight; that a diet high in whole grains and legumes can help reduce weight gain; and that significant weight loss is achievable with energy-controlled diets that are high in cereals and legumes. There is weak evidence that high intakes of refined grains may cause small increases in waist circumference in women. There is no evidence that low-carbohydrate diets that restrict cereal intakes offer long-term advantages for sustained weight loss. There is insufficient evidence to make clear conclusions about the protective effect of legumes on weight.

  • cereals
  • grains
  • legumes
  • obesity
  • weight control
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