Are Whole Grains Better Than Fish to Stop Prediabetes?

limit whole grains to well cooked small amounts for type 2 pre diabetes diet and exerciseWhole grain wheat eaters lost more weight and maintained a stable LDL level compared to refined wheat eaters. If you do not have a grain intolerance, and you simply can’t live without grains in your diet, and you are making an effort to stop prediabetes, current evidence suggests you should use whole grains over refined “white grains” in your diet.

Smart Nutrientology readers that are trying to stop prediabetes know that whole grains include the entire grain seed consisting of bran, germ and endosperm.  You also know that you would likely do better to avoid grains, especially wheat, however if you must….eat small amounts of whole grains.

A study using 79 overweight or obese postmenopausal women published in the Journal of Nutrition found that using whole grain wheat as opposed to refined wheat led to 0.9% less body fat.  These are such small amounts of weight loss!  A drink of water, or a trip to the bathroom,  could skew the results

The 79 were randomly assigned to eat an energy-restricted diet containing either refined wheat products or whole grain wheat products that amounted to 125 grams of grain carbs (500 calories) which was a deficit of ~75 g carb. (or ~ 300 cal.)

After 3 months on the diet, results showed that both diets produced weight loss, but the greater loss was observed in the whole grain group that had a loss of about 8 lbs., compared to a loss of about 6 lbs. on the refined wheat diet.

Changes to the percentage of body fat were also different between the diet groups. The whole grain diet group had an average reduction in body fat of 3%, compared with 2.1% in the refined wheat diet group.  {Not really that much if you ask me.}

In addition, total and LDL-cholesterol levels increased by about 5% in the refined wheat diet group, whereas no such changes were observed in the whole grain group, added the researchers.  Please note – LDL was raised by carbohydrate foods.  Fat is usually fingered as the villain.

Nutrientology readers know that it is the small dense LDL sub-fraction that really seems to be the culprit in the association between an elevated LDL and cardiovascular disease. I bet the increased LDL in the refined wheat group was mostly small dense pattern B LDL.

When will these “grain researchers” get creative and look at the physiological impact of whole grains relative to other carbohydrate sources, or other macronutrients for that matter?   How about comparing a grain-based diet to a fish-base diet ?  What is it with the grip that grains evidently have on the majority of nutritionists and dietitians?  I’m waiting for future studies comparing whole grains at lunch to whole grains at dinner.  What about the “benefits” of whole grains as a midnight snack?  How about something really crazy, comparing whole grains to no grains?…gasp.

The literature does appear to support some role for whole grains in the diet, however if you want to stop prediabetes you need to limit grain-based foods (cattle feed) to a side dish and cook them well.  Prediabetics by definition have glucose intolerance – doesn’t it make sense to limit that which you are intolerant of?

Stay tuned to Nutrientology…The potentially controversial topic of wheat as a grain food in the human diet will be a point of future discussion.


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About Robert Creighton

Dr. Creighton is a podiatrist and foot surgeon with over 26 years in podiatric practice treating thousands of patients afflicted with the physiological, physical, and psychological side effects and complications of diabetes and pre-diabetes metabolic syndrome. He believes these disorders present a pressing public health concern that need to be more actively addressed in a multidisciplinary way. Dr. Creighton graduated from what is now the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine after receiving his undergraduate degree in Biology. He is certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery, a member of the American Public Health Association, an American College of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and a Member of the American Nutrition Association.

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