What does whole grain intake have to do with diabetes?

What does whole grain intake have to do with diabetes?

Again and again you hear that carbohydrates would cause type 2 diabetes. The fact that it makes a huge difference in what kind of way you consume carbohydrates, plays an important role here. If we start with cereals and cereal products, then one can never compare whole grain products with white flour products.

Today we want to introduce to you studies that we have selected from several that have all come to similar conclusions. With these studies, we want to explain what whole grain intake can have to do with diabetes.

One of the studies – a meta-study of eight studies involving over 15,000 cases of type 2 diabetes among more than 300,000 participants – showed that increased consumption of whole grains reduced the risk of diabetes.[1]What does whole grain intake have to do with diabetes?

But not only is the high content of fiber in whole grains (in contrast to white flour products) reason for this risk minimization. Further studies[2],[3] show that “a plant-based diet rich in whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables significantly reduces the risk of diabetes and is successful in diabetes therapy.” [4]

Interesting results were also found in a slightly older study[5]: The 60 participating subjects had to have a high-carbohydrate and reduced-fat diet for 26 days. Twenty-three of them took a diabetes drug, all but two of which were able to stop it after the study ended. There were 17 insulin-requiring subjects, 13 of whom discontinued their insulin intake after the 26 days.

Now you can see what the consumption of whole grains may have to do with type 2 diabetes. Interesting – right? And if you want to know more about nutrition this blog post may be perfect for you: What does our body need and what is too much? >>


[1] Chanson-Rolle, A., Meynier, A., Aubin, F., Lappi, J., Poutanen, K., Vinoy, S., Braesco, V. (2015): Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Human Studies to Support a Quantitative Recommendation for Whole Grain Intake in Relation to Type 2 Diabetes. PLoS One 10 (6), e0131377

[2] McMacken, M., Shah, S. (2017): A plant-based diet for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. J Geriatr Cardiol, 14(5), 342-354

[3] Tonstad, S., Stewart, K., Oda, K., Batech, M., Herring, R. P., Fraser, G. E. (2013): Vegetarian diets and incidence of diabetes in the Adventist Health Study-2. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 23 (4), 292-299

[4] Rittenau, N. (2019): Vegan-Klischee ade! Wissenschaftliche Antworten auf kritische Fragen zu veganer Ernährung. Mainz: Ventil Verlag UG & Co. KG, S. 251

[5] Barnard, R. J., Lattimore, L., Holly, R.G., Cherny, S., Pritikin, N. (1982): Response of non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients to an intensive program of diet and exercise. Diabetes Care, 5 (4), 370-374

https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/5/4/370.short (30.9.2019)