Men with a high consumption of wholegrains may reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes, researchers report in this month's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts found that men who ate the most wholegrain foods, including brown rice, oats, and barley, were less likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than men with a high intake of refined grains, such as those found in pasta, white rice, and many refined sugary foods.
The scientists studied the diets and lifestyle of around 43,000 healthy men for about 12 years. After this time they found that 1,197 men had developed type 2 diabetes.
Those who ate the least wholegrain foods were nearly 60 per cent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared with men who consumed the most - about 3.2 servings of wholegrains daily.
The researchers also discovered that obese men also benefited from a wholegrain-rich diet. They found that obese men who were exercising regularly and consuming wholegrains were more than 50 per cent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
"Given the current overall low intake of wholegrains, efforts should be made to decrease the cost and increase the availability and consumption of wholegrain products," wrote Teresa Fung and her team. "This has the potential to reduce substantially the incidence of type 2 diabetes and possibly other chronic diseases when sustained over time."
The study was funded by America's National Institutes of Health and the American Diabetes Association.