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18 Of The Best Whole Grains For Weight Loss

18 Of The Best Whole Grains For Weight Loss

You likely know that many whole foods can be helpful for weight loss but what about whole grains? And which whole grains are the best for weight loss?

Whole grains are unprocessed, small, hard, dry seeds with a hull. In turn whole grains is divided in the subcategories cereals and legumes. There are also “pseudocereals” which are foods that are technically seeds but used as whole grains. This article will focus on the cereals and pseudocereals groups.

Compared to other food groups whole grains generally contain a nice amount of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, but also a considerable number of calories.

Vegetables, whole fruits, legumes, and many protein sources will generally be more helpful for weight loss than cereal whole grains.

On the other hand, whole grains are generally better for weight loss than sugar and refined grains like flour.

If you do decide to eat some whole grains you may as well pick the ones that are better for losing weight.

The nutritional values in this list are for the raw whole grains and pseudocereals. When you prepare them by for example boiling them, what you are left with has a different nutritional value, usually more weight loss friendly, per 100 grams.

Botanically speaking legumes count as grains but this list will not include them and thus stick to “cereals” and “pseudocereals”.

1. Sweet corn

There are actually two types of corn, sweet corn and maize. Sweet corn is the one most often consumed by humans. Sweet corn is also the more weight loss friendly option.

Sweet corn is by far the lowest calorie whole grain on this list which likely makes it the best for weight loss.

100 grams of raw yellow sweet corn contains (1):

  • Calories: 86
  • Protein: 3.2 grams
  • Carbs: 19 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 2.7 grams
  • Fat: 1.2 grams
  • Thiamin: 13% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin C: 11% of the DV
  • Folate: 11% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 9% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 9% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

A very popular way to eat corn is as popcorn. Eating corn this way is not optimal for weight loss since you get rid of some water. If you do decide to eat corn this way make sure you don’t overdo it with butter and/or sugar.

Sweet corn

2. Bulgur

Bulgur may not be the most popular whole grain but it can be very helpful when it comes to weight loss.

One of the reasons why bulgur is so high on this list is its amazing fiber content. Bulgur actually contains the highest amount of fiber per 100 grams of the whole grains on this list.

100 grams of raw bulgur contains (2):

  • Calories: 342
  • Protein: 12.3 grams
  • Carbs: 75.9 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 18.3 grams
  • Fat: 1.3 grams
  • Manganese: 152% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Magnesium: 41% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 30% of the DV
  • Niacin: 26% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 17% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

3. Rye

Rye is a whole grain that is mainly grown in Europe but available around the world.

100 grams of raw rye contains (3):

  • Calories: 335
  • Protein: 14.8 grams
  • Carbs: 69.8 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 14.6 grams
  • Fat: 2.5 grams
  • Manganese: 134% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 50% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 37% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 30% of the DV
  • Zinc: 25% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Rye is used to make flour, rye whiskey, and rye beer. When trying to lose weight you generally want to avoid rye prepared these ways.

4. Barley

Barley is one of the more widely cultivated whole grains on this list. One explanation for this may be that barley is commonly used to make beer, whiskey, and bread.

100 grams of raw barley contains (4):

  • Calories: 354
  • Protein: 12.5 grams
  • Carbs: 73.5 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 17.3 grams
  • Fat: 2.3 grams
  • Manganese: 97% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 54% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 43% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 33% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 26% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

barley as whole grain option for weight loss

5. Whole wheat

Wheat is another very popular whole grain and a big ingredient in foods like bread, crackers, pancakes, pasta, muffins, bagels, and so on… When trying to lose weight you generally want to stick to whole wheat instead of these types of foods.

100 grams of raw soft whole wheat contains (5):

  • Calories: 340
  • Protein: 10.7 grams
  • Carbs: 75.4 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 12.7 grams
  • Fat: 2 grams
  • Manganese: 170% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Phosphorus: 40% of the DV
  • Iron: 30% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 27% of the DV
  • Niacin: 24% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

6. Spelt

Spelt is not the most popular grain on this list but it does have the ability to help you lose weight and provide you with some important nutrients.

100 grams of raw spelt contains (6):

  • Calories: 338
  • Protein: 14.6 grams
  • Carbs: 71.4 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 10.7 grams
  • Fat: 2.4 grams
  • Manganese: 149% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Phosphorus: 40% of the DV
  • Niacin: 34% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 34% of the DV
  • Copper: 26% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

7. Kamut

Kamut is not a very popular type of whole grain but seeing its nutrition values may persuade you to give it a try anyway.

100 grams of raw kamut contains (7):

  • Calories: 337
  • Protein: 14.7 grams
  • Carbs: 70.4 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 9.1 grams
  • Fat: 2.2 grams
  • Manganese: 143% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 99% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 39% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 39% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 34% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

8. Buckwheat

Buckwheat is a pseudocereal which makes it naturally gluten-free but it’s always smart to check the packaging to make sure it didn’t come into contact with foods containing gluten.

100 grams of raw buckwheat contains (8):

  • Calories: 343
  • Protein: 13.2 grams
  • Carbs: 71.5 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 10 grams
  • Fat: 3.4 grams
  • Manganese: 65% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Magnesium: 58% of the DV
  • Copper: 55% of the DV
  • Niacin: 35% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 35% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Buckwheat is one of the most common grain options to make noodles in East-Asia. Making pasta is another way buckwheat can be used.

buckwheat porridge in bowl

9. Freekeh

Altough freekeh is not the most popular whole grain, you can likely order it online if you want to try it out during your weight loss journey.

100 grams of raw freekeh contains (9):

  • Calories: 352
  • Protein: 12.5 grams
  • Carbs: 60 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 11.2 grams
  • Fat: 4.5 grams
  • Manganese: 150% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Phosphorus: 50% of the DV
  • Niacin: 35% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 35% of the DV
  • Copper: 28% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

10. Einkorn

If you don’t count sweet corn as an actual whole grain, einkorn is the lowest calorie grain on this list. Unfortunately einkorn grain is rather low in fiber compared to the other options in this list.

100 grams of raw einkorn contains (10):

  • Calories: 333
  • Protein: 16.7 grams
  • Carbs: 65 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 6.2 grams
  • Fat: 2.1 grams
  • Iron: 19% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Calcium: 13% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

11. Sorghum

Sorghum is often used as livestock feed but like most whole grains it is suited for human consumption too.

100 grams of raw sorghum contains (11):

  • Calories: 339
  • Protein: 11.3 grams
  • Carbs: 74.6 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 6.3 grams
  • Fat: 3.3 grams
  • Phosphorus: 29% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Iron: 24% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 16% of the DV
  • Niacin: 15% of the DV
  • Potassium: 10% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

12. Kaniwa

If you’re looking to increase your fiber intake kaniwa may be the right choice for you. Just make sure to keep an eye on the calories in kaniwa if you’re trying to lose weight.

100 grams of raw kaniwa contains (12):

  • Calories: 379
  • Protein: 13.4 grams
  • Carbs: 65.5 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 13.8 grams
  • Fat: 6.9 grams
  • Calcium: 14% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Iron: 7% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

13. Teff

Teff is one of the hardest to find whole grains on this list.

100 grams of raw teff contains (13):

  • Calories: 367
  • Protein: 13.3 grams
  • Carbs: 73.1 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 8 grams
  • Fat: 2.4 grams
  • Manganese: 462% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Magnesium: 46% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 43% of the DV
  • Iron: 42% of the DV
  • Copper: 41% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

14. Quinoa

Quinoa is botanically not a whole grain but described like one anyway due to how it is used. In the health and weight loss world, quinoa is quickly rising in popularity. When you boil quinoa it absorbs a lot of water. This changes the nutritional values per 100 grams considerably.

100 grams of raw quinoa contains (14):

  • Calories: 368
  • Protein: 14.1 grams
  • Carbs: 64.2 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 7 grams
  • Fat: 6.1 grams
  • Manganese: 102% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Magnesium: 49% of the DV
  • Folate: 46% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 46% of the DV
  • Copper: 30% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Boiled quinoa is a very versatile ingredient. As an example boiled quinoa is a great addition to salads.

Quinoa with vegetables

15. Millet

Compared to many other whole-grain options millet doesn’t contain that much fiber and protein. Even with that in mind millet is likely a better weight loss food option than many processed snacks high in added sugar.

100 grams of raw millet contains (15):

  • Calories: 378
  • Protein: 11 grams
  • Carbs: 72.9 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 8.5 grams
  • Fat: 4.2 grams
  • Manganese: 82% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Copper: 37% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 29% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 28% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 28% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

16. Amaranth

Amaranth is a type of grain found all around the world. A higher amount of fiber would be useful for weight loss but 2.1 grams of fiber in 100 grams of boiled amaranth is still good compared to many other foods (x).

100 grams of raw amaranth contains (16):

  • Calories: 371
  • Protein: 13.6 grams
  • Carbs: 65.7 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 6.7 grams
  • Fat: 7 grams
  • Manganese: 167% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Magnesium: 62% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 56% of the DV
  • Iron: 42% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 30% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

17. Oats

Oats are one of the most popular whole grains in the weight loss and health communities. One of the main reasons why is because oats can keep you full for a long time while providing you with important nutrients like magnesium.

Part of why oats are so filling is their relatively high protein content. Oats actually have the highest amount of protein of all the whole grains on this list. This is helpful for building and preserving muscle, and in turn weight loss.

100 grams of raw oats contains (17):

  • Calories: 389
  • Protein: 16.9 grams
  • Carbs: 66.3 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 10.6 grams
  • Fat: 6.9 grams
  • Manganese: 246% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Phosphorus: 52% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 51% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 44% of the DV
  • Copper: 31% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

One of the amazing aspects of oatmeal is that it combines great with other weight loss friendly ingredients like fruits, nuts, seeds, and even some vegetables.

18. Brown rice

Rice is one of the most popular whole grains around the world. While its raw form is rather low on the list, boiling rice makes it absorb a lot of water. This makes more weight loss friendlier than the raw nutrition values make it seem.

When trying to lose weight you want to stay away from white rice. White rice contains a lot less fiber which is arguably one of the most helpful nutrients for weight loss.

100 grams of raw long-grain brown rice contains (18):

  • Calories: 370
  • Protein: 7.9 grams
  • Carbs: 77.2 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 3.5 grams
  • Fat: 2.9 grams
  • Manganese: 187% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Magnesium: 36% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 33% of the DV
  • Selenium: 33% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 27% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.