Higher intake of whole grains may lower diabetes risk, suggests study

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |

Published: June 2, 2020 10:30:42 pm

diabetes risk, type 2 diabetes, whole grains, new study, carbohydrates, calories, American Society for Nutrition, indianexpress.com, indianexpress, As per the study, a lower risk of type 2 diabetes was found when high-quality carbohydrates. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

In line with what many nutritionists have pointed out, a new study indicates that higher intake of high quality carbohydrates, especially from whole grains is associated with a lower type 2 diabetes risk. While carbohydrate intake has been associated with higher type 2 diabetes risk, the study which will be presented at Nutrition 2020 Live Online, a virtual conference hosted by the American Society for Nutrition (ASN), indicates that the quality of carbohydrate may have different effects. The study was conducted in more than two lakh people eating high-quality carbohydrates, such as whole grains.

The investigators conducted the study to examine associations of isocalorically substituting high quality carbohydrates (HQC) and low quality carbohydrates (LQC) with other macronutrients on type 2 diabetes risk. “High intake of carbohydrates has been suggested to be associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes,” said research team leader Kim Braun, PhD, from Erasmus University Medical Center and Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health. “We looked at whether this effect is different for high-quality carbohydrates and low-quality carbohydrates, which include refined grains, sugary foods and potatoes.”

The study analysed data from three studies that followed health professionals in the US over time. These included 69,949 women from the Nurses’ Health Study, 90,239 women from the Nurses’ Health Study 2 and 40,539 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Collectively, the studies represented over four million years of follow-up, during which almost 12,000 cases of type 2 diabetes cases were documented.

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As per the study, a lower risk of type 2 diabetes was found when high-quality carbohydrates replaced calories from saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, animal protein and vegetable protein. They also found that replacing low-quality carbohydrates with saturated fats, but not with other nutrients, was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. “These results highlight the importance of distinguishing between carbohydrates from high- and low- quality sources when examining diabetes risk,” said Braun. “Conducting similar studies in people with various socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities and age will provide insight into how applicable these findings are for other groups.”

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