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Whole grains: Lowering the risk of diabetes through proper nutrition
Numerous scientific studies have indicated that nutritional factors play an important role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. These study results have now been summarized in a review.
"While type 1 diabetes - in which there is an absolute insulin deficiency - cannot be prevented, things look very different with type 2 diabetes: with a healthy lifestyle, type 2 diabetes can be delayed or even completely prevented," writes the non-profit health organization diabetesDE - German Diabetes Aid on their website. Nutrition plays an important role here. Numerous studies have already shown this. Experts have now summarized their results.
Which nutritional factors play a role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes
In a review published in the British Medical Journal, study results were summarized that show which nutritional factors play a role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes and how meaningful they are. As the German Diabetes Center (DDZ) explains in a communication, the research team led by Dr. Sabrina Schlesinger, head of the Junior Research Group Systematic Reviews at the DDZ, carried out a comprehensive literature search on the subject of nutrition and type 2 diabetes.
According to the information, for this purpose all meta-analyzes (= summary of studies on a research question with a joint examination of the results) on this topic were systematically compiled and the significance of the study results was assessed.
The following were considered: diets (e.g. Mediterranean diet, diet with a reduced carbohydrate content), foods (e.g. whole grains, fruits or vegetables), drinks (e.g. sugary drinks and coffee), nutrients (e.g. carbohydrates, fats), minerals (e.g. magnesium, iron) ) and vitamins (e.g. vitamin D, vitamin C).
Reduced risk due to high consumption of whole grains
According to the communication, a total of 153 study results were identified that showed the relationship between nutritional factors and type 2 diabetes. A high informative value for a reduced risk of diabetes could be demonstrated for a high consumption of whole grain products, especially grain fibers, and a lower consumption of sugary drinks and red meat, especially processed meat such as sausages.
A moderate informative value was determined for 22 percent, a low one for 60 percent and a very low one for 14 percent of the relationships.
“This systematic review shows that the relationship between diet and type 2 diabetes has been examined in numerous studies and that nutrition plays a role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Nevertheless, there is uncertainty in the significance of many of these relationships, ”said Dr. Sabrina Schlesinger.
A possible limitation includes methodological aspects from the original studies. Because these were only observational studies, certain sources of distortion cannot be completely excluded. "Further well-designed and valid studies that examine the relationship between nutritional factors and type 2 diabetes are needed," said Dr. Schlesinger. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- German Diabetes Center (DDZ): Prevent type 2 diabetes: reduce the risk of diabetes with whole grains ?, (accessed: 20.08.2019), German Diabetes Center (DDZ)
- British Medical Journal: Role of diet in type 2 diabetes incidence: umbrella review of meta-analyzes of prospective observational studies, (access: 20.08.2019), British Medical Journal
- diabetesDE - German Diabetes Aid: Prevent type 2 diabetes - with a balanced diet and exercise, (accessed: 20.08.2019), diabetesDE - German Diabetes Aid