We live in a period where healthy lifestyle and fashion for proper nutrition rule the world. Therefore, bran again proved to be a popular product.

  • they are packed in different ways and package sizes,
  • they are added to pastries,
  • they are used to make crispbreads for healthy snacking.

Many supporters of weight loss diets were so carried away with this trend that they introduced bran into their daily menu. But is the use of them so objective? Or is it new tricks by the marketing professionals? Today, we are debunking myths with an expert dietitian.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, bran was almost completely excluded from the diet of Europeans and was considered a cheap “scrap” of flour milling. (Bran is, in fact, waste that remains after the grinding of grain, its hard shell.) By the end of the century, people remembered about them, when a general craze for natural food began in society.

Scientists held researches and it turned out that the grain wastes contain more useful substances than the grain itself. This is how the bran not just returned to the society’s menu, but also became a popular product.

You can find the following types of bran:

  • wheat,
  • rye,
  • rice,
  • oat,
  • buckwheat,
  • barley,
  • millet, etc.

But the most popular are oatmeal, wheat, and rye bran. The main advantage of this product lies in its high content of insoluble dietary fibers, even though bran contains various beneficial components, like:

  • vegetable protein,
  • carbohydrates,
  • fats,
  • vitamins – carotene, E and B group,
  • macro and microelements,
  • potassium,
  • phosphorus,
  • magnesium,
  • calcium,
  • sodium,
  • iron,
  • compounds of chromium, selenium, copper, zinc and other elements.

But, as is usually the case, many adherents of organic nutrition endow the product with fictitious qualities. So, let’s look at the most popular myths about bran.

Myth

  • Bran helps to lose weight.

Fact

In certain conditions, you really can lose weight if you consume bran. The main value lies in fiber, which is required for the normalization of the intestine functioning. When moving through the intestine, bran form a soft mass, which cleanses the intestines from toxins, waste and other decay products.

Regular bran consumption can help you both get rid of chronic constipation and lose weight significantly. The vegetable fibers found in the bran swell in the stomach and create the illusion of satiety. This is another plus of bran for weight loss.

Bran help fight hunger and at the same time saturate your body with many useful substances. Bran improve metabolism.
Fiber is not a fat-burning agent, but it affects one of the reasons for weight gain – the impairment of metabolic processes in the body – and prevents the absorption of fat.

Myth

  • Bran is safe for health.

Fact

The list of contraindications for bran consumption includes the following health conditions:

  • cholecystitis,
  • pancreatitis,
  • colitis,
  • peptic ulcer of stomach and duodenum,
  • gastritis,
  • gastroduodenitis.

People, who are allergic to any cereal are also contraindicated to consume bran.

You should also keep in mind that vegetables and fruits should be your main source of fiber, while bran should be regarded as an additive to your main nutrition!

Exceeding the normal amounts of bran consumed can cause:

  • diarrhea,
  • bloating,
  • flatulence,
  • stomach ache,
  • intestinal obstruction.

Diets with excess amounts of bran can cause other, more serious diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome, or provoke a deficiency of minerals.

Bran can reduce the absorption of medications, so do not get carried away in large portions of bran if you regularly take any pills. One more thing to keep in mind is the fact that you need to drink plenty of fluid when consuming bran. Water helps to soften the fibers and facilitates their passage through the intestine.

Myth

  • You can consume bran in unlimited quantities.

Fact

This is not true. For prophylaxis, it is recommended to eat no more than a tablespoon of bran per day. Maximum is no more than three to four spoons a day, i.e. 30-45 grams. If a dietician advises a larger dose, you should begin with a small dose and gradually increase the amount of bran consumed per dat.

The reaction of the body to the bran is very individual. For example, while a certain amount of bran will be sufficient for one person to normalize the work of the intestine, the other will need six times more to achieve the same goal.

No matter what your case is, you need to consult a doctor. It is especially important for those who suffer from:

  • chronic gastritis,
  • gastroduodenitis,
  • pancreatitis,
  • cholecystitis.

Unlimited portions of bran can cause problems with the gastrointestinal tract and the loss of nutrients (your body will get rid of good substances along with the toxins).

Myth

  • Bran can replace bread during a weight loss diet.

Fact

Replacing bread with bran is a wrong thing to do. Better buy bread with bran, whole-grain bread, in which all the nutrients found in the grains are preserved. When we use white flour to make bread, most of the nutrients remain in the bran instead of getting into this bread. Bakery products made of white flour are deprived of:

  • vitamins,
  • fiber,
  • minerals,
  • essential fats,
  • enzymes.

The valuable product turns into “empty calories”.

Myth

  • Bran is not processed into fat.

Fact

It’s true. Bran provides saturation without adding up a single gram to “fat deposits”. On the contrary, they work on their disappearance:

  • regulate the work of the gastrointestinal tract,
  • remove cholesterol,
  • reduce blood sugar,
  • satiate perfectly.

This helps avoid the desire to constantly stuff your stomach with something unhealthy.

The consumption of bran for diabetic patients is also a common thing. It has been proven that they interfere with the accumulation of cholesterol in the body and excessive release of glucose. In addition, oat bran produces a beneficial effect on the liver and gall bladder.

Yet dieticians believe the most interesting property of bran to be their ability of accelerating the metabolism, which contributes to fat burning. At that, bran is a nutritious product. They contain 150-200 kcal per 100 grams, so they really can make you feel full.

Fact

The most useful are bran in their pure form. That is correct. This form is of bran is processed less. Granules can contain fragrances and even sugar or salt to enhance the taste. Such a product does not bring any harm, yet you will certainly get less benefit from it.

High-quality bran should have a reddish-yellow with gray tint, have almost no taste and smell. If you consume bran in dry form, take them before meals, always with at least one glass of fluid.

You also can pre-soak the required portion of bran in boiling water and let it sit for half an hour. Then just drain the water and use the bran in this form or add it to any dishes. By the way, it is better to store bran in the fridge or in a vacuum bag at a moderate temperature.

If you notice that the bran has a bitter taste, then they probably have rancidified. This is due to the high content of fat in them. To increase shelf life, the bran can be heat-treated.

Myth

You need to eat bran as an additive to a liquid dish.

Fact

Not necessarily. You can add bran to:

  • salads,
  • soups,
  • meat dishes,
  • porridges.

If you let the bran swollen, you can mix it with cottage cheese. You can also begin your relationship with this product by eating bran bread. And, of course, you can consume bran separately.

The perfect option for breakfast or dinner:

  • 1-2 tablespoons of bran mixed with a glass of low-fat kefir, milk or yogurt,
  • let them sit for 40 minutes for the bran to swell,
  • add some fruit to the mixture, if you wish.

Myth

  • Bran should be consumed in cycles with breaks in between.

Fact

You should not take bran for weight loss on a permanent basis, since they interfere with the assimilation of many useful substances and minerals, which in the end will lead to:

  • weakening of immunity,
  • violation of other processes in the body.

Do not forget that bran is an additive to the basic diet, properly calculated for calories and composition (proteins, fats and carbohydrates). If your goal is to lose a few extra pounds or simply cleanse the intestines, the best advice is to:

  • balance your basic menu for calories and composition,
  • add the optimal amount of bran,
  • make your menu variable,
  • do not forget about physical activity.