These 7 whole grains can help prevent or treat type 2 diabetes

Switching from simple carbohydrates to complex carbohydrates can help stabilize your blood sugar, boost weight loss, and prevent heart disease.

Scientists have long known that an important step in preventing and treating type 2 diabetes is replacing simple and refined sugars in the diet with more complex sources. One of the main reasons is that complex carbohydrates regulate blood sugar better than refined grains. Refined grains found in foods like white rice and pasta tend to cause spikes in blood sugar or glucose soon after a meal and later energy crashes. In contrast, complex carbohydrates such as whole grains (brown rice and whole wheat pasta) take relatively longer to digest, resulting in a steady release of glucose into the blood.

Why ? Partly because whole grains are good sources of fiber, which slow down glucose absorption. A simple carbohydrate, i.e. without fiber, is broken down very quickly and goes directly into the bloodstream. Fiber takes longer to digest, so it slows down the digestion of carbohydrates and gives you better control of your blood sugar throughout the day. Most whole grains have a moderate glycemic load (GL), which measures a food’s impact on raising blood sugar, with a low value least likely to cause sudden spikes. A glycemic load of 20 and above is considered high, a glycemic load between 11 and 19 is considered moderate, and a glycemic load of 10 or less is considered low.

Whole grains can also help with weight management. Weight management is a top priority for people with type 2 diabetes because being overweight and obese increases the risk and makes the disease more difficult to treat. According to a September 2018 report in Nutrients, eating 60–90 grams (g) of whole grains per day (about two or three servings) was associated with a 21–32% reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes compared to humans who never or seldom ate whole grain products.

In addition, a diet high in fibrous whole grains promotes heart health. According to a 2016 meta-analysis published in The BMJ, eating whole grains has been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. That’s important because adults with type 2 diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to die from heart disease than adults without diabetes, according to the AHA.

Find out here about seven types of whole grains that may help prevent and treat type 2 diabetes, and always consult your doctor before making any major changes to your diet.

1 brown rice

A study published in Archives of Internal Medicine showed that eating five or more servings of white rice per week led to an increased risk of diabetes. Conversely, eating only two servings of brown rice per week results in a lower risk. And it’s as simple as it sounds: data shows that replacing about a third of a daily serving of white rice with brown rice would reduce the overall risk of type 1 diabetes by 16%.

Brown rice has an average GI of 16. A half-cup serving has 39 grams of carbohydrate and is a good source of magnesium, with 60 milligrams (mg) for 14% of the Daily Value (DV) and 2 mg of niacin for 10% of the DV. Magnesium helps regulate muscle and nerve function, blood pressure, and blood sugar, making it a smart choice for people with diabetes, while niacin is a B vitamin that helps maintain the nervous system, digestive system, and healthy skin.

2 bulgur wheat

Diabetes experts believe other whole grains, such as bulgur, can play a similar role in a diabetic’s diet when eaten in place of simple, refined carbohydrates. In fact, the researchers behind the Archives of Internal Medicine study hypothesized that replacing white rice with whole grains could reduce the risk of diabetes by 36%. A one-cup serving of cooked bulgur is an excellent source of fiber at 8.19 g, or 32% of the DV, and contains 33.8 g of carbohydrates. It has an average GI of 12.

3 oats

Oats are a high-fiber food that helps control blood sugar. It’s a popular whole grain for people with diabetes because it’s easy to incorporate into your breakfast routine. One serving contains 14g of carbs and about 2.5g of fiber, which is 9% of the DV. A systematic review and meta-analysis published in Nutrients in December 2015 analyzed 14 controlled studies and two observational studies, and the authors concluded that oat consumption improved A1C levels, fasting glucose levels, and cholesterol levels in humans with diabetes significantly decreased. Oats have an average GI of 13.

4 buckwheat

By choosing buckwheat flour for baking instead of regular white flour, you can greatly increase your soluble fiber content, an important aspect of a diabetic diet. One of the most important properties of soluble fiber is its ability to regulate blood sugar. It slows the rate at which glucose is metabolized and absorbed by the gut. A small study published in December 2016 in the Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences found that eating breakfast with buckwheat improved glucose tolerance through lunchtime.

A cup of buckwheat flour contains 3g of fiber for 11% of the DV, 1.44mg of iron for 8% of the DV, and 22g of carbohydrates. Buckwheat has a medium GI and a slice of buckwheat bread has a GI of 13.

5 Farro

This ancient grain looks like brown rice and tastes nutty. It prepares like a risotto and is easy to add to stews, casseroles and salads. It is rich in nutrients, including fiber, iron, protein and magnesium. Iron promotes growth and development and helps the body make hemoglobin, which supplies oxygen to all parts of the body. Half a cup of cooked farro contains 7g of fiber, or 25% of the Daily Value, 7g of protein, and 37g of carbohydrates.

6 quinoa

Quinoa, another versatile food. Although quinoa is generally considered a whole grain, it’s actually a highly nutritious seed that’s high in protein and fiber. A one-cup serving of quinoa contains 39 grams of carbohydrate, 5 grams of fiber, or 18% of the DV, and 8 grams of protein. Quinoa has an average GI of 13. Fiber enriches your diet, making you feel fuller and happier. You are less likely to overeat. And appetite control is important to help you maintain a calorie-friendly diabetic diet. Try mixing quinoa with rice to get used to its taste.

7 barley

Dietary fiber is also the main benefit of barley for people with type 2 diabetes. One cup of cooked pearl barley contains 6 g of dietary fiber, or about 21% of the daily value, and 44 g of carbohydrates. A study of 20 participants, published in the British Journal of Nutrition in September 2015, found that eating barley grain bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner for three days was associated with improved metabolism, insulin sensitivity and appetite control, and a reduction in weight Blood sugar led and insulin levels. According to the researchers, these effects are due to the fact that the fiber content of barley increases the number of good bacteria in the intestine and releases helpful hormones.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

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