Fiber Fights Diabetes

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By: Melissa Sattley

A recent study by Harvard scientists gives us one more good reason to eat our Wheaties.

The study, published February in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that the risk of developing diabetes was significantly lower among those who ate a low-sugar, high-fiber diet. People with diets high in white bread, white rice and soft drinks had an increased likelihood of chronic high demand for insulin, according to the study.

Starting in 1986, the researchers studied data from 65,000 nurses 40 to 65 years old. Of the nurses studied, 915 had, or developed diabetes. The nurses who ate the most sugar and the least fiber had twice the risk of developing diabetes compared to those who ate high-fiber low-sugar diets.

“Because these results are so strong and consistent with the previous evidence about the protective benefits of a high-fiber diet, we suggest that grains be consumed in a minimally refined form to reduce the risk of diabetes,” stated co-author JoAnn Manson, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard.

Foods including whole grain breads, high-fiber breakfast cereals, yogurt, beans and peanut butter lessened the probability of developing diabetes, Harvard researchers said. They also noted that regularly eating cereal was associated with a 28 percent reduced risk of developing diabetes.

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