Wholegrains prevent against type 2 diabetes

written by Meena Azzollini

whole grain food on a wooden background

Credit: BigStock

Wholegrains offer protection against type 2 diabetes, a major concern worldwide. But few studies have been conducted to understand the role of using different types of wholegrain cereals to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Most studies have been conducted in the USA where people mainly consume wheat to get their wholegrain intake but other wholegrain cereals like rye and oats contain different dietary fibre and bioactive substances that might influence the risk factors for type 2 diabetes differently.

The proportion of participants who developed type 2 diabetes was the lowest in the highest wholegrain consumption group.

A comprehensive study was conducted by researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden and the Danish Cancer Society Research Center. The study was conducted in Denmark where there is a big variation in wholegrain intake. The researchers used data from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort which involved 55,465 participants aged between 50-65 years when the study started. The participants completed a food-frequency questionnaire and reported their wholegrain intake. Their total wholegrain intake and wholegrain cereal types (wheat, rye, oats) were calculated in grams per day. The various associations were examined using the Cox proportional hazards models.

The participants were divided into four groups based on their wholegrain intake. Those with the highest consumption ate at least 50 grams of wholegrains each day. This corresponds to a portion of oatmeal porridge and one slice of rye bread, for example. The proportion of participants who developed type 2 diabetes was the lowest in the highest wholegrain consumption group. This proportion increased for each group that had eaten fewer wholegrains. In the group with the highest wholegrain intake, the diabetes risk was 34 per cent lower for men and 22 per cent lower for women.

Confirming previous research, this study showed that it made no difference which type of wholegrain was consumed, whether it was rye, oatmeal or muesli, as they all offered the same kind of protection against developing type 2 diabetes. The study also provides important information on the daily wholegrain intake required to offer this kind of protection. Consuming a wholegrain-rich diet offers many health benefits along with reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Source: The Journal of Nutrition


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Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!