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Prediabetes and Whole Grains

Prediabetes and Whole Grains: Are Whole Grains OK With Prediabetes?

I talk a lot about eating whole grains because some ladies refuse to eat them! Why? Because there's many uneducated-health-guru websites that say grains are from the devil and no one should ever eat them. Is Prediabetes and Whole Grains a good idea? Is it true you need to avoid whole grains? Read on to find out...

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One thing you see on the Internet is a lot of people blowing their horn with little evidence to back things up!

These 'health websites' (I use that term very lightly) claim that eating any grains is totally bad for blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity.

So what does the research say? Are whole grains bad for you?

Stick around to the end of this blog post to find out a VERY important secret about whole grains AND lowering your after-meal (postprandial) blood sugar levels.

A lot of ladies don't know this and skip the whole grains because of this!

DON'T MISS THIS SECRET!

Will You Get Prediabetes If You Eat Whole Grains?

There is NO research evidence that says you will get Prediabetes if you eat whole grains!

In fact, in a study of over 5000 people researchers found:

A higher intake of whole grain is associated with decreased risk of deteriorating glucose tolerance including progression from normal glucose tolerance to prediabetes by mechanisms likely tied to effects on insulin sensitivity.

Consumption of whole grain reduces risk of deteriorating glucose tolerance, including progression to prediabetes. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Dec 2012. Jan;97(1):179-87. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.045583.

What this study means is that, if you eat whole grains, you'll have less of a chance of getting Prediabetes in the first place!

OK, but what if you already have Prediabetes or Insulin Resistance and you want to avoid getting Type 2 Diabetes?

Are Prediabetes and Whole Grains a good idea for Diabetes Prevention?

Can Prediabetes and Whole Grains Safely Go Together?

The research is clear that eating whole grains will help prevent you from getting Type 2 Diabetes!

A study of over 180,000 women over 18 years confirms whole grains are part of a Diabetes Prevention diet!

Women who averaged two to three servings of whole grains a day were 30 percent less likely to have developed Type 2 Diabetes than those who rarely ate whole grains.

Whole Grain, Bran, And Germ Intake And Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes: A Prospective Cohort Study And Systematic Review. PLoS Med. 2007 Aug;4(8):e261.

​That's what I call good-to-know news.

By the way, a serving of whole grains is any of these:

  • 1/2 cup cooked whole grain oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 slice of hearty whole grain bread
  • 1/2 cup cooked barley

It sounds like Prediabetes and Whole Grains are a match made in heaven! I'm going to have some brown rice tonight to CELEBRATE!

So What's So Special About Prediabetes and Whole Grains?

When you eat WHOLE grains, you get the entire grain seed as nature intended.

In contrast, REFINED grains have stuff purposely removed, including most of the fiber, bran, vitamins and nutrients (which is too bad, because that's all the good stuff!).

So it's all good when you eat whole grains because you eat the bran and ALL the fiber!

This is super fantastic news because all that bran and fiber makes it more difficult to digest the starches in the grain. This means you get a SLOWER rise in blood glucose and LESS insulin is released.

Whole grains are also PACKED with wonderful vitamins, minerals and inflammation fighting phytochemicals.

NOTE!  Your Prediabetes and Insulin Resistance means you've got TONS of inflammation in your body. Inflammation is the starting point for most chronic diseases! 

You need whole grains to help fix this problem.

So eating whole grains means you eat lots of healthy nutrients, stuff that fights inflammation, and tons of fiber!

If you've hung around my Facebook Group, you know I talk a lot about fiber. Why? Because fiber has a ton of health benefits!

INCLUDING the fact that if you eat a lot of fiber you'll have a much easier time reversing your Prediabetes.

That sounds like a sweet deal to me...but only as long as the grains are WHOLE grains!

Refined Grains are linked to Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, Stoke

But What About My Blood Sugar and Whole Grains?

When you first start out with Prediabetes and Whole Grains, you do have to take it easy because your blood sugar control isn't the best yet (that's why you have Insulin Resistance and Prediabetes in the first place).

Testing your blood sugar after your meals is a great idea so you can get a handle on how well you can control your blood sugar based on what you eat.

You can learn more about testing your blood sugar in my blog post: Should I Test My Blood Glucose At Home?

Active 1st Bayer Contour NEXT Diabetic Blood Glucose Monitor Testing Kit

Some ladies find they have to be careful with larger amounts of whole grains. Keeping your serving to 1/2 cup cooked helps to keep your blood sugar stable and doesn't usually cause your blood sugar to go too high.

I will let you in on a secret though: there are ways to eat whole grains and have a MUCH slower AND lower blood sugar response two hours (postprandial) after your meal.

Wanna know what that secret is? (Keep reading to find out.)

The Secret To Keeping Your Blood Sugar Lower If You Eat Grains At A Meal

Research is totally cool when it tells you that, to control your blood sugar, you can actually eat MORE carbs rather than less!!! And here's the secret to keeping your blood sugar lower when you eat whole grains.

Drum roll please....

Eat beans with your whole grains.

What?????? How can eating MORE carbs slow down digestion of whole grains???

It’s simple!

The fiber in the beans slows down the digestion of the whole grains AND your entire meal.

Here’s the deal...

It’s not like your stomach divides up all the different foods you eat into digestion compartments and digests thing separately! Your stomach mixes everything together...that means the bean fiber gets mixed all around.

So if you add beans to your meals WHEN you have whole grains, you will get a SLOWER and LOWER blood sugar response.

How cool is that?

"The study found bean and rice meals produce a weaker blood sugar response in comparison to rice alone. All bean and rice meals in the study reduced the average 2-hour after-meal glucose below 140 mg/dl. (recommended after-meal blood sugar control goal of the International Diabetes Federation)."

Bean and rice meals reduce postprandial glycemic response in adults with type 2 diabetes: a cross-over study. Nutr J. 2012; 11: 23. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-23

Joan Tip Eat Beans With Whole Grains

So beans and whole grains for supper sound like an excellent idea!

Joan's Closing Words About Prediabetes and Whole Grains

So there you have it. Whole grains are totally 100% a.o.k.

In fact,

1) You'll reduce your chances of getting Prediabetes if you eat them

2) You'll have a better chance of preventing Type 2 Diabetes if you eat them

AND

3) You can safely eat them with your meal...

...AND if you want to lower YOUR blood sugar response WHEN you eat whole grains, always eat BEANS with your meal.

Wanna make some whole grains with your meal?

Choose:

  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Whole oats
  • Whole wheat, kamut, spelt and barley flakes
  • Whole grain berries like wheat, barley, kamut and spelt
  • Steel cut oats

Find great suggestions for meal ideas that help you reverse your Prediabetes (including eating whole grains!) here:

References:

About the Author Joan Pasay

As a Nutrition & Lifestyle Therapist I felt compelled to start Power In The Group. Why? To guide and support women like you with Prediabetes or Insulin Resistance so you can regain and nourish your health...without all the confusion. Together we can enjoy the richest quality of life for ourselves, with our families, and within our society...wanna come along?

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