News Briefs

Risk Reduction

There’s no single diabetes diet that’s best for everyone, but a recent study reports cutting back on fat and added sugars and opting for “slowly absorbable carbohydrates” (the low GI ones) along with getting plenty of fibre was associated with significantly lower triglycerides, HbA1c and CRP (a marker of inflammation) in people with diabetes.

Abnormal levels of blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) are part and parcel of diabetes and pre-diabetes. It’s important to act on these metabolic risk factors if you have diabetes as high blood fats increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, or of developing peripheral vascular disease (for example in the lower limbs, especially the feet).

Recommended ranges for blood glucose, blood fats and blood pressure

Source: General practice management of type 2 diabetes – 2014–15, RACGP and diabetes Australia, 2014

Diabetes risk reduction table

* Primarily for people with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes may have different targets that should be determined in conjunction with their health professional team. 

Yes, Whole Grains are the real deal for metabolic health.

Whole grains have been front and center in dietary guidelines for decades now. Epidemiology studies have long found that whole grains and dietary fiber correlate with health benefits such as better glycemic control, better insulin sensitivity, less heart disease, and less weight gain. Two studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition offer experimental evidence to support those links.GLNC Serve Size Infographic

Infographic: Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council –

In a six-week randomized trial, J. Philip Karl and colleagues compared the effects of whole grains and refined grains on metabolic function. They found that people consuming whole grains for six weeks burned more energy and absorbed fewer calories from their food. The result was 92 fewer calories per day retained – and potentially stored as fat – by people eating whole grains. Hunger, fullness, and diet satisfaction were no different between the two groups. Some indications of a trend toward better glucose tolerance in the whole grain group fell short of statistical significance. Data from the same subjects in a second paper show modest favorable effects on gut microbiota, and on markers of immune function and inflammation.

“It’s reassuring to have this new evidence,” says Karl: “Many previous studies have suggested benefits of whole grains and dietary fiber on chronic disease risk. This study helps to quantify how whole grains and fiber work to benefit weight management, and lend credibility to previously reported associations between increased whole grains and fiber consumption, lower body weight and better health.”

Click here for study on energy balance and here for the study on microbiota. For further perspective, click here.

Thanks to Ted Kyle of ConscienHealth for this report.


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