Wholegrains each day keeps diabetes away
Australia is facing a diabetes
epidemic - nearly one in four adults has the disease or is
at risk, with costs topping $1.2 billion annually. But the
findings of a new review of the scientific literature bring
hope to the nearly one million Australians estimated to have
"There is now overwhelming evidence
that people who eat two to three serves of wholegrain foods
each day are 20-30% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes
compared to those who do not eat any wholegrain foods," says
Professor Jim Mann, Professor in Human Nutrition and
Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand, the author of
"There is strong evidence to suggest
that eating wholegrain and high fibre grain-based foods and
legumes is beneficial in the prevention, treatment and
control of diabetes.
"For those who are at risk but have
not yet developed diabetes, the progression of impaired
glucose tolerance to Type 2 diabetes can be delayed, and
insulin resistance improved, by lifestyle changes that
include exercise and a diet with some wholegrain foods.
"For people who already have
diabetes, diets that include substantial amounts of
wholegrain and high fibre cereal foods, fruits, vegetables,
and legumes are associated with improvements in insulin
sensitivity and improved blood sugar control.
"People with diabetes are up to
four times more at risk from heart disease and wholegrain
foods have also been clearly shown to be associated with a
reduced risk of heart disease," said Professor Mann.
According to Go Grains Accredited
Practising Dietitian, Trish Griffiths, eating more
wholegrain foods and legumes is tasty and easy to do by
including them in meals and snacks.
"Begin the day with a wholegrain or
high fibre breakfast cereal or oats and for lunch choose a
wholegrain sandwich or roll. At dinner include some legumes
- try lentils in soups or chickpeas in curry - served with
brown rice or wholemeal pasta," recommends Trish Griffiths.
"And don't forget snacks - wholegrain crispbreads or rye
bread with a favourite topping are ideal."
The suggestion that wholegrain and
high fibre foods might protect against the development of
diabetes, as well as being useful in its management, is
relatively recent and it is not yet clear which components
of wholegrains produce the beneficial effect.
According to Professor Mann, the
nutrients in wholegrains - for example fibre and the
essential mineral magnesium - may account for some of the
beneficial effect, but it is possible that the intact
structure of the grain may be important.
Professor Mann's research review was
commissioned by Go Grains - a nutrition communication
program developed by BRI Australia and supported by
Australian grain growers and the Commonwealth Government
through the Grains Research and Development Corporation.
With compliments: Go Grains Nutrition
For further information: Trish Griffiths, BRI Australia Ltd,
Ph: 02 9888 9600
Source: Go Grains