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Three serves of wholegrains a day linked to lower risk of diabetes

Eating just 3 serves of wholegrains a day could lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 34 per cent, according to a recent Danish study. That’s just a bowl of porridge and a wholegrain sandwich.

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology studied 15 years of dietary data from 55,000 men and women, aged 50-65 years.

They reported a consistent link between eating wholegrains and a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

They also found each serve mattered. For every 16g serving of wholegrains the participants ate each day, they lowered their risk of developing type 2 diabetes further. The risk in men dropped 11 per cent with each serve eaten and there was a 7 per cent drop per serving for women.

The men eating the most wholegrains daily had a 34 per cent lower risk compared to those eating the least, while women eating the most wholegrains had a 22 per cent lower risk than those in the lowest.

The good news is the highest consumption group weren’t eating truckloads of wholegrains each day, in fact the highest group were only eating a minimum of 50g – roughly what you’d find in a bowl of porridge and a slice of rye bread. And it also didn’t matter what type the wholegrain was eaten, all varieties looked at in the study were associated with decreased risk.

So how can you increase your wholegrain intake?

  1. Try swapping white bread for loaves with lots of grains
  2. Choose wholegrain breakfast cereals
  3. Think about using brown rice or buckwheat as a side instead of white rice
  4. Snack on popcorn
  5. Bulk up your breakfast smoothies with oats or wholegrain cereal
  6. Add quinoa or barley to soups

Want more information?

Our nutrition fact sheets, created by accredited dietitians, provide the latest nutrition and lifestyle information to help you understand which foods are the best to eat. Click here to see the diabetes type 2 nutrition fact sheet.