Consuming whole grains such as a slice of rye bread or a bowl of oat porridge daily can prevent the development of Type-2 diabetes, finds a study. The study, led by researchers from the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, showed that it made no difference which type of whole grain product or cereal the participants ate — ryebread, oatmeal, and muesli, for example, seem to offer the same protection against Type-2 diabetes.
What is more important is how much whole grain one eats each day, they said. In the study, men with the highest whole grain intake — at least 50 grams of whole grain each day, corresponding to a portion of oatmeal porridge, and one slice of rye bread — had a 34% lower risk of diabetes, while women had 22% lower risk, than people who had eaten less whole grain.
“Most studies similar to ours have previously been conducted in the US, where people mainly get their whole grain from wheat,” said Rikard Landberg, Professor at the varsity. “We wanted to see if there was a difference between different cereals. One might expect there would be, because they contain different types of dietary fibre and bioactive substances, which have been shown to influence risk factors for Type-2 diabetes,” Landberg added.
For the study, appearing in The Journal of Nutrition, the team included 55,000 participants, over a long time span — 15 years. Whole grains are defined as consisting of all three main components of the grain kernel: endosperm, germ, and bran. Those who avoid all cereals, in an attempt to follow a low carb diet, therefore lose out on the positive health effects of whole grain, which come principally from the bran and the germ.
According to Landberg, cereals, and carbohydrates in general, should not be avoided in diet. “Carbohydrates are a very varied group of foodstuffs, including sugar, starch, and fibre. We should discuss these more individually, and not throw them together in one group, because they have totally different effects on our physiology and health,” Landberg noted.