They’re good for your heart. They’re also good for keeping you feeling full and—according to recent research—blasting belly fat. The secret? Soluble fiber. Researchers at Wake Forest Medical Center reported that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber per day, visceral fat (the more dangerous kind deep in your belly, surrounding your organs) dropped by 3.7 percent over five years. (Other sources of soluble fiber include oats, barley, apples, okra, citrus.)
Whole grains are also rich in fiber (soluble and insoluble!) so adding things like wheat berries or barley to your chili gives it even more staying power. Of course, if you’re like my husband and want to eat something besides chili once in a while, you could expand your whole-grain repertoire to include other whole-grain recipes for slimming soups, herb-studded pilafs, and more.