Researchers say that eating whole grain can reduce the risk of pre-diabetes, the precursor to the dreaded diabetes.
American Diabetes association has estimated that one in four Americans who are older than 20 years have pre-diabetes and one-quarter of pre-diabetics eventually develop diabetes.
Tina Wirstrom from Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden said that pre-diabetes is gaining importance since their numbers are increasing. Earlier studies have associated reduction in the risk of developing diabetes to consumption of whole grains.
This new study links consumption of whole grains to the precursor of diabetes. Whole grains have full kernels and include oatmeal, popcorn, brown rice and whole wheat which are a part of the dietary take of most Swedes.
Approximately 5,477 residents of Stockholm aged 35 to 56 years participated in the study. They did not have diabetes and maintained diaries about their food and quantities of whole and refined grains consumed. Researchers measured their blood glucose levels after 10 years.
In all, one in ten patients became pre-diabetic and one in 33 became diabetic. According to the observations of the study, Swedish residents who ate food containing more than 59 gms of whole grains per day were 27 percent less likely to develop pre-diabetes compared to residents who ate 30 gms of whole grains or lesser.This association was stronger in men while there was no difference evident in patients who had increased risk of developing diabetes due to genetic inheritance.
The study held little relevance to US citizens since Swedes get most of their grains from whole-grains while Americans get most of theirs from refined wheat. Many foods are available with claims of having whole grains but they also get along extra calories, fats and carbohydrates which can cause more harm than good by turning into a risk factor for developing diabetes.
Americans should try to switch over from refined grains to whole grains instead of adding whole grains on top of refined grains which will result in over-consumption of carbohydrates and calories.
Another study suggested losing weight to be an important factor for people with pre-diabetes to revert to their normal sugar levels.