Wonderful Whole Grains!

Ask our CDE

Wonderful Whole Grains!

Dear Diabetes Sisters,

I have received many questions about eating whole grains and preventing type 2 diabetes. Did you know that studies have linked diets high in whole grains with having a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes? (1,2)?  After reading this, don’t you want to learn more about whole grains?

 Do you know the definition of a whole grain? According to the Whole Grain Council:

“Whole grains or foods made from them contain all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed. If the grain has been processed (e.g., cracked, crushed, rolled, extruded, and/or cooked), the food product should deliver approximately the same rich balance of nutrients that are found in the original grain seed.”

Click on the link to the Whole Grain Council:

http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/definition-of-whole-grains 2013.

How many servings of whole grains does the average American Need?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) 2010 Dietary Guidelines, Americans should consume at least three servings of whole grain products every day. Ask your registered dietitian if there are specific recommendations for you.

What foods are classified as whole grains?

The American Diabetes Association lists the following as best sources of whole grains:

  • Bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Whole oats/oatmeal
  • Whole grain corn/corn meal
  • Popcorn
  • Brown rice
  • Whole rye
  • Whole grain barley
  • Wild rice
  • Buckwheat
  • buckwheat flour
  • Triticale
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Sorghum

Look up some of the whole grain products you are not familiar with and if there are no allergies, intolerances, or other problems, try a new one every week.  I tell my clients to search for new recipes using their internet browser to see many different recipes. Recipes can be shared with your friends as well.

In addition to helping prevent type 2 diabetes, benefits of eating whole grains include a reduced risk of heart disease.  People with constipation may find increasing whole grain foods provides relief.  Remember, by increasing the amount of whole grains in your diet, you will be increasing the fiber content of your diet. With this, you will also want to increase the amount of fluids you drink (water works just fine!).  Whole grains also help with weight management and provide essential nutrients.

Wow, now can you find a new recipe for a lesser known whole grain such as sorghum?

Bon Appétit!



(1) Whole-grain intake and the risk of type 2 diabetes: a prospective study in men 1,2,3. Fung T, Hu F et al.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2002; 76 no. 3: 535-540.

 (2) Whole Grain, Bran, and Germ Intake and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Prospective Cohort Study and Systematic Review Jeroen S. L de Munter, Frank B Hu, Donna Spiegelman, Mary Franz, Rob M van Dam.PLoS Med. 2007 August; 4(8): e261. Published online 2007 August 28.