Optimise Protein Metabolism by Including Whole Grains

Posted April 2022
Avocado + Bagel spice on Corn Thins slices

For your body to maintain its lean muscle mass you need to consume enough protein as well as enough complete protein each day. You may be surprised to learn that the ability of your body to make a protein is not only affected by these components in your diet but also if there are adequate wholegrains.

A recent study investigated the effects on protein turnover when a diet was either high in refined grains or wholegrains. The researchers used a randomized control trial on overweight or obese adults, epidemiological data, and in-vitro cell culture study designs to determine the results.

In the randomized control trial, each adult was randomly assigned to follow either a refined-grain diet or wholegrain diet for 8 weeks. The grain serves included in the diet for each adult each day were 50 g/1000 kcal wholegrains per day or around five to six servings. A serve of whole grains can be 35g of whole grain crackers for Corn Thins slices, ¼-1/2 cup of cooked quinoa, whole grain couscous, whole grain pasta, or whole grain rice, ½ cup cooked oats or 2 Weetbix.

 The diets for all adults in the study were matched for calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients and only differed by including either refined grains or whole grains. The researchers found that over a 24-hour period, those adults who followed a whole grain rich diet had a 3-fold increase in net protein balance compared to those adults who included more refined grains. Net protein balance is the number of amino acids or the building blocks which make a protein converted into a protein. 

The whole grain group also had a greater protein turnover, which is essential for maintaining the strength in your lean muscle mass. In the older group of adults, the diet which included more wholegrains was also associated with greater muscle function.

If you feel stuck on ways to include enough whole grains in your diet to optimize protein metabolism, Corn Thins has your covered. Check out https://www.cornthins.com/en for recipe idea inspiration for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

Take home message: To optimize protein metabolism and your body’s ability to maintain and enhance your lean muscle mass, make sure you are including enough wholegrains in your diet each day.



Jacob T Mey, Jean-Philippe Godin, Amanda R Scelsi, Emily L Kullman, Steven K Malin, Shengping Yang, Z Elizabeth Floyd, Alexander Poulev, Roger A Fielding, Alastair B Ross, John P Kirwan, A Whole-Grain Diet Increases Whole-Body Protein Balance Compared with a Macronutrient-Matched Refined-Grain Diet, Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 5, Issue 11, November 2021, nzab121, https://doi.org/10.1093/cdn/nzab121


Ashleigh Felth…
Accredited Practising Dietitian
  • Article By:
    • Ashleigh Felth…