Cereals Rich in Soluble Fiber

Effects of a Cereal Rich in Soluble Fiber on Body Composition and Dietary Compliance During Consumption of a Hypocaloric Diet

Edward Saltzman, MD, Julio C. Moriguti, MD, Sai Krupa Das, MS, Alberto Corrales, Paul Fuss, Andrew S. Greenberg, MD, and Susan B. Roberts, PhD

Energy Metabolism Lab, The Jean Mayer U.S.D.A. Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts [esaltzman@hnrc.tufts.edu]

Objectives: To investigate the effects of oats, a cereal rich in soluble fiber, on body composition changes and dietary compliance during consumption of a weight loss diet.

Methods: Subjects were 41 healthy men and women aged 18 to 78 years. Weight maintenance energy requirements were established over two weeks during consumption of a control diet with low soluble fiber content. Subjects then consumed a hypocaloric diet for six weeks, either consuming a low soluble fiber control diet or a diet containing 45 g/1000 kcal rolled oats, a whole grain cereal rich in soluble fiber (mean energy deficit -895±18 kcal/day relative to weight maintenance energy requirements). Changes in body fat and fat-free mass were determined by underwater weighing, and dietary compliance was assessed using the urinary osmolar excretion rate technique. In a final phase of the study, subjects ate ad libitum for six months, and changes in body weight and composition were monitored.

Results: There was no significant effect of the oat-containing diet on body weight or composition changes during the hypocaloric regimen or in the subsequent ad libitum period. In addition, fecal energy excretion was not significantly different between groups. However, there were non-significant trends indicating reduced hunger in the oat group compared to controls (frequency of hunger 2.5±0.5 vs. 3.6±0.4, P=0.1). In addition, fewer oat subjects were non-compliant (four versus seven subjects dropped out or had urinary osmolar excretions greater than130% of values predicted from dietary intake), but again the difference was not significant.

Conclusions: These results suggest that use of a cereal rich in soluble fiber in a closely monitored hypocaloric feeding regimen does not improve weight loss or dietary compliance. Further studies are needed to examine the possibility that cereals containing soluble fiber may have effects on hunger and dietary compliance that could be important in less tightly controlled protocols than the one described here.

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