Refined Grains

Recommendation: Go for Whole Grains

The grains you choose to eat affect your risk of diabetes. Whole grains contain dietary fiber that is associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.1 Examples of whole grains are brown rice, whole wheat, whole oats (also known as oat groats), quinoa, barley, and sorghum. Refined grains, such as white rice, are more likely to rapidly raise your blood glucose levels. Eating more white rice and processed or refined grains is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.2 This is especially true among Asian populations, which tend to consume large amounts of white rice.3 Buying and preparing brown rice instead of white rice, and whole wheat breads instead of refined white breads, can substantially lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.

In addition to opting for whole grains, obtaining a balance between the amounts of grains you eat and other types of food can also help you achieve a healthy diet and lifestyle.  Take a look at the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate for more information on how to create healthy, balanced meals.

1 Schulze MB, Schulz M, Heidemann C, Schienkiewitz A, Hoffmann K, Boeing H. Fiber and magnesium intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes: a prospective study and meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167:956-965.