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The Health Centre

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 diabetes.

"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 the review.

"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 Communication Program

For further information: Trish Griffiths, BRI Australia Ltd, Ph: 02 9888 9600




 Source: Go Grains





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