Dietary Factors reduce Diabetes Risk

The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) being carried out by researchers around the U.S. and in Norway, has found that eating a “low risk food pattern” including more whole grains, fruits, green leafy vegetables, low-fat diary, and nuts/seeds, was associated with a 15% lower diabetes risk. Researcher Jennifer Nettleton, PhD, stressed that the interplay of a variety of healthy foods likely contributes to the reduced risk.
Diabetes Care, Sept 2008; 31(9):1777-82. Epub June 10, 2008.

Antioxidants High, in Emmer and Einkorn

In Ankara, Turkey, scientists at Hacettepe University’s Department of Food Engineering compared 18 ancients wheats (12 emmer, 6 einkorn) with 2 modern bread wheats, to assess their total phenolics and flavonoids, phenolic acids, lutein, total yellow pigment, and total radical scavenging capacities. Results showed “remarkably higher total antioxidant activity” in emmer varieties, and “quite high levels of lutein” in the einkorn samples. In conclusion, the findings were considered to be key to “breeding wheat varieties for higher concentration and better composition of health-beneficial phytochemicals.”
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, August 27, 2008; 56(16): 7285-92

Sorghum May Protect Against Diabetes and Insulin Resistance

Advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) are increasingly implicated in the complications of diabetes. A study from the University of Georgia Neutraceutical Research Libraries showed that sorghum brans with a high phenolic content and high anti-oxidant properties inhibit protein glycation, whereas wheat, rice or oat bran, and low-phenolic sorghum bran did not. These results suggest that “certain varieties of  sorghum bran may affect critical biological processes that are important in diabetes and insulin resistance.”
Phytotherapy Research. 2008 Aug;22(8):1052-6

Western Diet Linked with Greater Mortality

After following 72,113 women for almost twenty years, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that eating a “prudent” diet rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, fish and poultry may reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and for overall mortality. The study divided the women into two groups, those eating the “prudent” diet and those consuming a typical “Western” diet with high levels of red meat, processed meat, refined grains, french fries, and sweet or desserts.
Circulation, July 15, 2008; 118(3):230-7. Epublished June 23, 2008.

Rye Porridge More Satisfying for Breakfast

Scientists at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala decided to investigate whether whole grains keep people full and satisfied longer than refined grains – and whether specific types of whole grains are more satisfying than others. Working with 22 healthy adults, they fed their subjects either rye porridge or refined wheat bread for breakfast and then whole wheat pasta or refined wheat pasta for lunch. In both cases, the two options offered equal amounts of energy (calories). They found that the two pastas varied little in their subsequent effects on appetite, but that the rye porridge had “prolonged satiating properties up to 8 hours after consumption, compared to refined wheat bread.” (However, even though the rye breakfast made subjects feel full longer, it did not diminish subsequent food consumption.)
Food & Nutrition Research, 2008; 52. Doi 10.3402/fnr.v52i0.1809. Epub Jul 28.

Organic Wheat Judged Tastier

Scientists at the University of Alberta baked whole wheat bread using the same cultivar of hard red spring wheat grown both conventionally and organically. They then asked 384 consumers to rate the taste – once, with unlabeled samples and no knowledge of the different origins, and again, after the breads had been labeled and the different growing conditions described. Consumers rated the taste of the organic bread higher both in the blind test and the informed test. Their ratings were unaffected by information on the environmental benefits of organic farming, but they liked the organic bread even more after learning of the potential health benefits of organically-grown foods.
Journal of Food Science, May 2008; 73(4): H50-7

Study Confirms Heart Benefits of Whole Grains

Eating an average of 2.5 servings of whole grain foods each day can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease by almost one-quarter. That’s the finding of a seven-study meta-analysis of 285,000 men and women led by Philip Mellen of Wake Forest University. In light of this evidence, Mellen said, policy-makers, scientists and clinicians should “redouble efforts” to get people to eat more whole grains.
Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, May 2008; 18(4):283-90. Epub April 2007.

Popcorn intake associated with higher whole grain intake

At the University of Nebraska, researchers examined data from the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to learn whether popcorn consumption was associated with different dietary intake patterns. They found that, on average, those who regularly ate popcorn consumed 250% more whole grain overall (2.5 vs 0.7 servings per day), and about 22% more fiber (18.1g vs 14.9g per day). The popcorn-eaters also consumed fewer meat servings and more carbohydrates.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association. May 2008; 108(5): 853-6.

Rye may Reduce Inflammation in People with Metabolic Syndrome

At the University of Kuopio in Finland, scientists assigned a group of 47 adults with metabolic syndrome to one of two different 12-week diets. The first group ate a diet with oat, wheat bread and potato (high post-meal insulin response) and the second group ate a diet with rye bread and pasta (low post-meal insulin response). The researchers found that the rye/pasta group showed less inflammation than the oat/wheat/potato group. Since inflammation may raise the risk of type 2 diabetes, the researchers concluded that choosing cereal foods wisely may be important to reduce diabetes risk, especially in those who already have metabolic syndrome.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. May 2008; 87(5): 1497-503.

“Whole” Whole Wheat Satisfies Longer

Researchers in Malmö, Sweden conducted a blind cross-over trial with 13 healthy adults to see If bread made largely with intact wheat kernels satisfied subjects longer than bread made with whole wheat flour, or refined wheat flour, and how the addition of vinegar would affect satiety. (Acetic acid, or vinegar, is known to increase satiety and lower postprandial blood glucose and insulin response.) The whole-kernel wheat bread with vinegar satisfied longest, even though it had the same amount of fiber as the whole wheat flour bread.
Nutrition Journal, April 27, 2008; 7:12

Sprouted Brown Rice Fights Diabetes

In Japan, six men and five women with impaired fasting glucose (pre-diabetes) or type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to eat either white rice or sprouted brown rice three times a day. After a two-week washout, subjects switched groups. Researchers reported that “blood concentrations of fasting blood glucose, fructosamine, serum total cholesterol and traicylglycerol were favorably improved on the sprouted brown rice diet but not on the white rice diet” suggesting that diets including sprouted brown rice may help control blood sugar.
Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, April 2008; 54(2):163-8.

Whole Grains may help cut Acne

Australian researchers led by Neil Mann recruited 50 young males (age 15-25) with mild to moderate acne for a twelve-week study of the relationship between diet and acne. Half the group ate a typical Western diet, while the other half ate lean meat, poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables and substituted whole grain bread, cereals and rice for refined foods. After twelve weeks, the acne of the group eating more protein and whole grains “improved dramatically, by more than fifty percent.”
Journal of Dermatological Science, April 2008; 50(1):41-52. Epublished January 4, 2008.