Washington D.C.: Researchers have found another reason for you to add whole grains to your diet.
According to the latest study, it doesn't matter if it is rye, oats, or wheat. As long as it is whole grain, it can prevent type 2 diabetes.
The ability to use whole grains for prevention of type 2 diabetes has been known for a long time. But the role of different wholegrain sources has not been investigated. It has also been unclear how much whole grain is needed to reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Rikard Landberg, the senior researcher of the study, said, "Most studies similar to ours have previously been conducted in the USA, where people mainly get their wholegrain from wheat. 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."
The study was conducted in Denmark, where there is a big variation in wholegrain-intake. The study showed that it made no difference which type of whole grain product or cereal the participants ate. Rye bread, oatmeal, and muesli, for example, seem to offer the same protection against type 2 diabetes.
What is more important is how much wholegrain one eats each day. The study also provides important clarification to the scientific knowledge when it comes to daily dosages.
The participants were divided into four different groups, based on how much wholegrain they reported eating. Those with the highest consumption ate at least 50 grams of whole grain each day. This corresponds to a portion of oatmeal porridge, and one slice of rye bread, for example.
The proportion which developed type 2 diabetes was lowest in the group which reported the highest wholegrain consumption and increased for each group which had eaten less wholegrain.
In the group with the highest whole grain intake, the diabetes risk was 34 per cent lower for men, and 22 per cent lower for women, than in the group with the lowest wholegrain intake.
Additionally, the study was uncommonly large, with 55,000 participants, over a long time span - 15 years.
If you compare whole grains' role in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes against other foods that have been investigated in other studies, it is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk when it comes to diet. Drinking coffee and avoiding red meat, are other factors that can similarly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
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 wholegrain, which come principally from the bran and the germ.
The findings appeared in the Journal of Nutrition.