Wholegrain Diet Lowers Type 2 Diabetes Risk, Helps With Weight Loss

A new Danish study confirms that exchanging refined-grain food (e.g., pasta, white rice, white bread) for whole grain options is good for weight loss, and our overall health.

The study involved 50 adults at risk for developing type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Half the participants ate whole grain foods for eight weeks, then ate their usual diet for six weeks, and finally consumed a refined grain diet for eight weeks.

The remaining participants did the study in reverse order.

Blood tests showed that on the wholegrain diet participants had less inflammation in their bodies, and that rye was especially beneficial for calming inflammation. Though inflammation is normal in the presence of an infection, some people have chronic low-grade inflammation without infection, particularly those who are overweight. This increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes, and other chronic health conditions.

Study participants also ate less on the wholegrain diet, and generally lost weight. This was likely because the wholegrain foods were more filling and satisfying.

“Our analysis confirmed that there is a sound scientific basis for the dietary recommendation to eat whole grains,” said professor Tine Rask Licht from the National Food Institute. “This may particularly apply to people who are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes.”

The investigators examined participants’ stool samples as well, and found the eight-week wholegrain diet did not effect their gut bacteria composition. However, they suggest that each person’s unique gut microbe composition impacts how their body reacts to dietary whole grains. “This is something that further studies of our data may answer,” says Tine Rask Licht.

Headed by the National Food Institute, this study was done in cooperation with the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen, and DTU Bioinformatics.

Source: DTU Food/National Food Institute
Photo credit: Mattie Hagedorn

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