Previously, studies have linked higher intakes of whole grains to lower stores of abdominal fat. Nicola McKeown, from the USDA Human Nutrition Researcher Center on Aging at Tufts University (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected in The Framingham Heart Study, examining dietary data collected on 2,834 men and women enrolled in The Framingham Heart Offspring and Third Generation study groups. The study participants, ages 32 to 83 years, underwent multidetector-computed tomography (MDCT) scans, to determine volumes of visceral adipose tissue (VAT), which surrounds the intra-abdominal organs, and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), found just beneath the skin. Prior studies suggest that visceral fat is closely associated with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors including hypertension, unhealthy cholesterol levels and insulin resistance that can develop into cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes. When the team compared the relationship of both visceral fat tissue and subcutaneous fat tissue to whole and refined grain intake, they observed a more striking association with visceral fat. They also observed that participants who consumed, on average, three daily servings of whole grains but continued to eat many refined grains, did not demonstrate lower VAT volume. The researchers conclude that: “Increasing whole-grain intake is associated with lower [visceral adipose tissue] in adults, whereas higher intakes of refined grains are associated with higher [visceral adipose tissue].”
Nicola M McKeown, Lisa M Troy, Paul F Jacques, Udo Hoffmann, Christopher J O'Donnell, Caroline S Fox. “Whole- and refined-grain intakes are differentially associated with abdominal visceral and subcutaneous adiposity in healthy adults: the Framingham Heart Study.” Am J Clin Nutr, Nov. 2010; 92: 1165 - 1171.
Olive oil and its phenolic compounds, oleuropein and cafeic acid, exerts beneficial effects on fat oxidation and cardiac energy metabolism.
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