Whole grains may lower diabetes risk

February 18, 2004 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News

Whole grains may lower diabetes risk

People who consume plenty of whole-grain foods, particularly fiber-rich cereals, may be less likely to develop health conditions that put them at increased risk of diabetes, say researchers from Tufts University in Boston.

In the study, the health benefits of whole grain foods were observed among people who consumed three or more servings of whole grains per day. People who ate this much whole grain had better insulin sensitivity and were less likely to have the metabolic syndrome. The average American consumes less than one serving of whole-grain foods per day.

Low-carbohydrate diets are all the rage these days, and there is some evidence that a low-carb diet may improve insulin sensitivity in obese people. Overweight and obese people often develop insulin resistance, a precursor to full-fledged type 2 diabetes.

But not all carbohydrates are created equal. Some research suggests that people who consume lots of whole-grain foods and fibre have more healthy insulin levels.

This study of 2800 adults finds that people who eat large amounts of whole-grain foods may be less likely to develop conditions that increase the risk of diabetes.

Consumers need to carefully examine food labels in order to identify whole grain products. Whole grain products should list a whole grain ingredient, such as "whole wheat," "whole rye," or "whole-oats," as the first ingredient on the label.

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.