Unrefined carbs are a whole lot better
Whole grains may reduce your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, a Danish study has confirmed.
More than 900 healthy men and women were tested. Those who reported consuming the most whole grains had lower levels of cholesterol and other markers of heart disease. The link was as simple as that. They also had better-controlled blood sugar.
'This suggests that people with a high whole-grain intake may have lower risks of diabetes and ischemic heart disease,' study author Majken Karoline Jensen, of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, told Reuters Health.
Specifically, Jensen and colleagues found that healthy men who reported the highest intake of whole grains had levels of homocysteine, a blood protein that has been tied to heart disease and stroke, that were 17% lower than those who reported consuming the least amount of whole grains.
'Together with a growing body of evidence on the effects of refined carbohydrates versus whole grains, our study suggests that replacing refined grain products with whole grain products may be beneficial in terms of lowering cholesterol levels and maintaining a constant blood sugar,' Jensen said.
In other words, replace white bread, white rice and white pastas — all refined carbohydrates — with whole grain versions. Brown rice is probably the easiest of these to digest.
Oats, which are virtually always sold as whole-grain versions are increasingly popular. Sales of porridge oats and oatmeal increased by 81% in the UK from 2000 to 2005. Apparently, Britons ate 50,000 tonnes of oats last year! Other good whole grain options include bulgar wheat, quinoa, rye and maize (such as corn on the cob)
There's a useful list of whole grains on theUS Whole Grains Council website.
Page created on March 10th, 2006
Page updated on December 18th, 2009