Whole grains may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes

May 14, 2002 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News

Whole grains may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes

Consuming a diet rich in whole grains may help overweight adults to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes. A small study found that insulin sensitivity improved in a group of overweight and obese adults when they consumed a diet rich in whole-grain foods such as brown rice, oats, corn and barley.

Insulin sensitivity is a measure of how efficiently the body responds to insulin, the hormone responsible for clearing glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream following a meal or snack.

People with type 2 diabetes become desensitized to insulin and as a result, their blood glucose can remain elevated. If not controlled through diet or medication, elevated blood sugar eventually raises the risk of heart disease, kidney damage and other problems.

In the study, 11 sedentary adults with a body mass index of at least 27 consumed a diet in which 55% of total calories came from either whole-grain carbohydrates or processed carbohydrates, for 6 weeks.

Following the initial 6-week period study volunteers ate their usual diet for 6 to 9 weeks and then switched to the alternate diet for the following 6 weeks. Insulin levels were 10% lower and blood glucose levels were slightly reduced when study volunteers ate a whole grain-rich diet, regardless of body weight.

People should replace the refined-grain foods in their diet, such as white bread and bagels, refined-grain breakfast cereals, and white rice with whole grain choices. Stay clear of products that do not list "whole grain" as the first ingredient.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.