Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition that can lead to heart problems, nerve damage, kidney damage and eye damage if left untreated. Carrying too much excess body fat and having high blood pressure or cholesterol are just a few of the risk factors associated with the condition.
But what can you do to prevent the condition? A new study has suggested eating more whole grains could help.
Enjoying one to two portions of brown rice, burger, millet and buckwheat a day could reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by 29 percent, according to researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
This was compared to those who barely ate any.
The study also found those who ate at least one serving of oatmeal or brown rice on a daily basis were less likely to develop diabetes than those who ate less than one monthly serving of those particularly grains.
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More than 194,000 people took part in the research.
The participants were divided into three different groups depending on their whole grain consumption.
A follow-up was carried out after 24 years, to which it was found 18,629 people had gone on to develop type 2 diabetes.
Senior author Qi Sun, associate professor in the Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, said: “We know diet is one of the most important factors that determine the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, yogurt, and other healthful foods may lead to reduced risk of developing this disease.”
The authors of the study went on to recommend people should change their diet to include whole grain breakfast cereal, dark bread and wheat germ in a bid to reduce their chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
Whole grains have been linked to good health for many years due to their high fibre content and antioxidants.
Previous research has also demonstrated how whole grains can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
A review of 16 studies concluded replacing refined grains with whole varieties and eating at least two servings of whole grains daily could lower a person’s risk of diabetes.
Studies have also linked whole grain intake to lower fasting blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity.
Other ways to prevent type 2 diabetes
A healthy diet and keeping active can help manage blood sugar levels, according to the NHS.
It can also help you control your weight and generally feel better.
While there’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, certain foods should be limited, advises the health body,
It recommends: “Eat a wide range of foods – including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta.
“Keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum.
“Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day – do not skip meals.”
The health body also recommends you aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week.
This could include fast walking, climbing stairs or doing more strenuous housework or gardening.