High-carb foods get a bad rap – sometimes justifiably, sometimes not.
Heavily processed foods containing refined sugars like high-fructose corn syrup should certainly be minimized in the diet. But there’s one class of carbohydrates that are not only allowable for Type 2s, but also hugely beneficial: whole grains.
New Research Gives Whole Grains a Thumbs Up
In fact, one recently published study in The Journal of Nutrition went so far as to say that eating any type of whole grain is effective for minimizing the risk of Type 2 diabetes – and, by extension, helping those diagnosed with Type 2 manage their blood sugar levels.
The study in question, conducted by researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, analyzed the diets of over 50,000 people ages 50-65, looking specifically at how many servings of whole grains they consumed on a daily basis. Foods like whole-grain and rye breads, oatmeal, and muesli.
Results showed that subjects who consumed at least one portion of whole grains every day (ie, one slice of whole-grain bread or one bowl of oats) had a significantly lower risk of developing diabetes than those who skipped the whole grains – 22% lower risk for women, 34% for men.
The Type 2-friendly food swap recommended by the researchers is this: Switch out white flour-based foods for whole grains.
According to one of the co-authors of the study: “When it comes to whole grains, the research results are clear: among the many studies which have been made, in varied groups of people around the world, there hasn't been a single study which has shown negative health effects.”
3 Whole Grain Foods that Get a Greenlight
Good news: Your whole grain choices don’t need to be limited to just porridge and muesli. If those foods don’t excite you, how about cereal, bagels, and loaf bread? Yes, these three delicious high-carb foods can be fair game if you choose the right types.
To help you choose wisely is Swee2ooth founder and former Type 2 diabetic Thom Zwawa. Below are a few of his favorite whole grain foods. “I love plain oatmeal for Type 2s, and I eat it often myself,” says the 53-year-old Zwawa. “But not everyone likes oatmeal. If you’re more of a cold cereal or bread person, these are good options.”
1 Shredded Wheat Cereal
Zwawa likes Aldi’s SimplyNature Original Shredded Wheat. It contains 100% whole grain wheat and zero added sugars.
2 100% Whole Wheat Bagel
Thomas’ 100% Whole Wheat Bagels contain 8 grams of fiber in each one no high-fructose corn syrup. Zwawa likes to top his bagels with Vanilla Thrilla Swee2ooth mixed into plain whipped cream cheese spread. “That Swee2ooth and cream cheese mixture is amazing,” he says. “It tastes like cake frosting!”
3 Sprouted Bread
Sprouted bread is Type 2-friendly based due to its rich whole grain content, high fiber content, and low glycemic index. For added flavor, add some natural peanut butter to it.
If you’re looking for other good whole grain options, Healthline.com offers these 14 Healthy Whole-Grain Foods.