High Quality Carbohydrates May Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Substituting calories with high quality carbohydrates, such as those in whole grains, could reduce risk of developing type 2 diabetes

New research suggests consuming more whole grains could lower a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Presented at Nutrition Live Online 2020, a virtual conference hosted by the American Society for Nutrition (ASN), results of the analysis indicate substituting calories with high quality carbohydrates, such as those in whole grains, could reduce risk of developing type 2 diabetes while substitution with low quality carbohydrates, such as those from refined grains, sugary foods, and potatoes, was found to increase risk.

"These results highlight the importance of distinguishing between carbohydrates from high- and low- quality sources when examining diabetes risk," said lead investigator Kim Braun, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow from Erasmus University Medical Center and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a statement. "Conducting similar studies in people with various socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities and age will provide insight into how applicable these findings are for other groups."

With previous research indicating carbohydrate intake was associated with higher risk of type 2 diabetes, Braun and a team of colleagues sought to determine the specific effects of high and low quality carbohydrates on this association. Additionally, investigators hoped to evaluate whether overall macronutrient composition could have an impact on this effect.

For the purpose of analysis, investigators designed the current study to assess associations of isocalorically substituting high quality carbohydrates and low quality carbohydrates with other macronutrients on type 2 diabetes risk. Using the Nurses’ Health Study, Nurses’ Health Study 2, and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, investigators identified cohorts of 69,949 women, 90,239 women, and 40,539, respectively.

Click to continue reading on HCP Live.com