Whole-grain foods linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes

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A recent study led by Kim Braun from Erasmus University and other institutions indicates that eating high-quality carbohydrates like whole grains may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The research provides insight into the distinction between high- and low-quality carbohydrates and their impact on diabetes risk. Data from over 200,000 health professionals were analyzed in the study.

The study examined data from three large-scale studies, including the Nurses’ Health Study, Nurses’ Health Study 2, and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

With more than 4 million years of collective follow-up, nearly 12,000 cases of type 2 diabetes were documented among the participants.

Key Findings

Replacing calories from fats and proteins with high-quality carbohydrates was linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Low-quality carbohydrates, when replaced with saturated fats but not other nutrients, showed a lower risk for the condition.

The study emphasizes the importance of recognizing the difference between high- and low-quality carbohydrates in assessing diabetes risk.

What Are High-Quality Carbohydrates?

High-quality carbohydrates are found in foods like whole grains that contain the complete grain – endosperm, germ, and bran.

These contrast with low-quality carbohydrates, found in refined grains, sugary foods, and potatoes, which contain only the endosperm.

Contextualizing the Findings

The results highlight the critical distinction between types of carbohydrates, particularly in light of the current debate over the role of carbs in diseases like diabetes.

A high intake of carbohydrates has generally been associated with a higher diabetes risk, but this study nuances that view.

Practical Implications

For those concerned about diabetes, incorporating whole grains and high-quality carbohydrates into their diet might offer some protection against developing the condition.

The study suggests that the quality of carbohydrates matters more than their mere presence in the diet.

Distinguishing between high- and low-quality carbohydrates is essential when considering nutritional strategies to lower diabetes risk.

The study provides valuable insights that could guide both individual choices and public health recommendations.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about how Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about plant nutrients that could help reduce high blood pressure, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.

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