A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (February 1, 2006) found that whole grain diets can reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. For the study, the researchers analyzed the diet records of 1000 healthy middle-aged adults. They measured levels of insulin and hemoglobin A as an index of diabetes risk, as well as homocysteine and cholesterol concentration to determine coronary heart disease.
The researchers noted that greater intake of whole grains was linked with higher levels of physical activity, more fruit and vegetable intake, less smoking, and reduced consumption of alcohol and saturated and monounsaturated fats. Although there seems to be a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes among patients who eat higher levels of whole grains, the method for how this works is unclear, the researchers concluded.