Diet Rich in Whole Grains May Thwart Diabetes

  1. Diet Rich in Whole Grains May Thwart Diabetes

    Diet Rich in Whole Grains May Thwart Diabetes
    Reuters Health

    Tuesday, March 11, 2003

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Eating whole-grain foods such as fiber-rich breakfast cereals, brown rice, barley and oatmeal may cut a person's risk of type 2 diabetes, new study findings from Finland suggest.

    The study of more than 4,300 adults found that those reporting the highest intake of whole grains were 35 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with the lowest intake.

    Much of this reduced risk seemed to stem from the whole-grain eaters' intake of fiber-rich cereals, researchers found.

    Participants with the highest cereal-fiber intake were 61 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes during the 10-year study than were those with the lowest intake.

    The findings, reported in the March issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, are based on an analysis of dietary and lifestyle habits of men and women ages 40 to 69. During the 10-year follow-up, 156 developed type 2 diabetes.

    "We found a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in persons with high whole-grain intake. This reduced risk was apparently due to cereal fiber intake," Jukka Montonen and colleagues at the National Public Health Institute in Helsinki report.

    Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, is often linked to obesity. Once seen almost exclusively in older adults, type 2 is on the rise among US adults and children, as is obesity.

    Cutting overall calories, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight can prevent type 2 diabetes, but the effects of specific dietary components has been unclear, according to Montonen's team.

    Type 2 diabetes arises when the body loses its sensitivity to insulin, a hormone that shuttles sugar from the blood and into cells to be used for energy. People with the disorder see their blood sugar levels soar, which over time can lead to complications such as heart and kidney disease and nerve damage.

    It's thought that fiber might help combat type 2 diabetes in a couple of ways. Compared with simple carbohydrates like white bread, fiber-rich carbs are slowly digested and absorbed, leading to less insulin demand. And insoluble fiber speeds through the intestines, leaving less time for carbohydrates to be absorbed, the Finnish researchers explain.

    However, they also point out that whole-grain foods contain a host of components other than fiber that might contribute to the lower diabetes risk they found.

    SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2003;77:622-629.

  2. mmm... fiiiiber *Simpson drool* this was last Tues no less eh? good spot Bee!

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