Friday, March 5, 2010

Whole Grains Can Cut Diabetes Risk

Source: Medline Plus (Summary by NIM)

Lucky for us, whole grains have been garnering a ton of attention in the past few years. It's not only due to their high fibre and vitamin and mineral content, but also due to the unequivocal health benefits that they provide us with. A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston has shown that simply switching from white rice to brown rice can cut your risk of type-2 diabetes by 16%, but switching to whole grains overall can reduce the risk by up to 36%.

There are actually 3 parts to grains - the outer husk which is high in B vitamins and is the main source of dietary fibre, the endosperm, or interior packed with carbohydrates and protein, and the germ, the tiniest part of the grain, making up only about 2% of it's weight but containing heart-healthy essential fatty acids like Omega-3's and just about every vitamin, mineral and amino acid you can name. It's also a great source of vitamin E.

To better put things into perspective, white flour only contain the endosperm, whole wheat flour contains the endosperm and husk, and whole-grain flour contains all parts of the grain. So you may be thinking fibre and vitamins aren't a concern if you buy 'fortified' white breads or pastas like 'Catelli Smart', and you may be right to an extent - it's true that those products are better than their 'regular white' counterparts. But despite fortification efforts on the part of food scientists, you are ultimately paying a premium for an engineered product designed to mimic an already existing, healthier and more nutritious alternative - whole grains! Choose whole grains more often, whenever you can in order to obtain their incredible nutrition and health benefits.

Find out more about the above study by reading the article called "Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk" from Medline Plus (Mar. 3, 2010) and check out these tips and tricks from Canada's Food Guide.