Whole Grains, Fiber and Diabetes in Women

women-and-diabetesThe link between whole grains, fiber and diabetes in women hasn’t been clear.

But recent research done by Harvard School of Public Health clarified the great benefits of whole grain fiber for women with diabetes.

In the Harvard study, published in the peer-reviewed Circulation, women with diabetes who ate the most whole grains had considerably lower death rates than those getting the least whole grain fiber.

This was a breakthrough connecting high fiber and diabetes in women.

Earlier studies showed whole grains offered healthy heart protection to men with diabetes and people in general, but this study was the first showing the specific protective effect of fiber for women with diabetes.

High Fiber for Women with Diabetes

Harvard researchers studied women’s eating habits for over 26 years.

And they found that the women who were in the top 20% (because they ate the most whole grains) had a 35% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke and heart attack.

The top 20% also had a 28% lower risk of overall death rate (from ANY cause) than the women in the bottom 20% of fiber consumption.

Plus the study showed that women who ate the most high fiber grains had a 55% lower risk of death from all causes and a 64% lower risk of stroke and heart attack than those who ate no whole grains at all.

Previous research has shown the main reason why whole grains are so beneficial to women with diabetes in the prevention of cardiovascular disease is because they help reduce inflammation in the body.

And they also help to regulate and normalize blood pressure.

Whole Grains and Diabetes in Women

Diabetes affects 23 million Americans, including 12 million women. It’s a leading cause of death in the U S. and other developed countries.

Adults suffering from diabetes have two to four times the risk of stroke and two to four times the risk of death than their non-diabetic peers.

But there are many other complications that are specifically associated with diabetes. These include high blood pressure, blindness, kidney failure, nervous system disorders, amputations and more.

Whole grain wheat, rice and oats still contain the fiber-rich outer bran layer, which has been removed from white bread, white rice and processed cereals. Many studies show eating bran significantly reduces both heart disease deaths and total deaths in diabetic women.

Diabetes is not a disease to take lightly. That’s why it makes good sense for everyone, not just women with diabetes, to eliminate white bread, white rice and all other processed cereals from their diets.

How to Reverse or Avoid Diabetes in Women

Begin by adding plenty of 100% whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, rolled oats and other nutritious whole grain high fiber foods.

Include other healthy high fiber foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans to increase your high fiber foods intake.

It’s also important for women with diabetes to limit their intake of high glycemic carbohydrates (sugary sweets) and high fat foods. Choose more lean meats and low-fat dairy, like yogurt and cottage cheese.

Lastly, learn ALL the steps to reverse diabetes or, if you don’t currently have it, learn to avoid diabetes. Print a copy of the List of High Fiber Foods with Fiber Content and use it to choose the best fiber foods.

For a full color, Printable List of High Fiber Foods,  enter your email address in the newsletter box below and we’ll send you one!

More Commonsense Health for You:
Healthy High Protein High Fiber Diet Plan
List of High Fiber Foods with Fiber Content
How to Avoid Diabetes and Reverse Diabetes
High Fiber Foods and High Fiber Supplements

References:

Ludwig DS. Journal of the American Medical Association. The glycemic index: physiological mechanisms relating to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. JAMA 2002;287:2414-23.

McKeown NM, Meigs JB, Liu S, Saltzman E, Wilson PW, Jacques PF. American Diabetes Association. Carbohydrate nutrition, insulin resistance, and the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in the Framingham Offspring Cohort. Diabetes Care 2004;27:538–46.

Hu FB, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, et al. New England Journal of Medicine. Diet, lifestyle, and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in women. N Engl J Med 2001;345:790-7.

McKeown NM, Meigs JB, Liu S, Wilson PW, Jacques PF. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Whole-grain intake is favorably associated with metabolic risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the Framingham Offspring Study. Am J Clin Nutr  2002;76:390–8.

de Munter JS, Hu FB, Spiegelman D, Franz M, van Dam RM. Public Library of Science (PLoS). Whole grain, bran, and germ intake and risk of type 2 diabetes: a prospective cohort study and systematic review. PLoS Med 2007;4:e261.

Sun Q, Spiegelman D, van Dam RM,et al. Archives of Internal Medicine. White rice, brown rice, and risk of type 2 diabetes in US men and women. Arch Intern Med  2010;170:961-9

Willi C, Bodenmann P, Ghali WA, Faris PD, Cornuz J. Journal of the American Medical Association. Active Smoking and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA 2007;298:2654-2664.

National Diabetes Statistics fact sheet: general information and national estimates on diabetes in the United States. National Institute of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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