Grains can control blood sugar all day, new research

By Karen Willmer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Low gi Blood sugar Carbohydrate Cereal Whole grain

Eating certain grains with a low GI breakfast can keep your blood
sugar regulated for up to ten hours, according to a new research
study released this week.

The study from Lund University in Sweden used four types of grain and was the first to suggest certain whole-grain products can have a blood sugar control for an entire day. These findings could therefore encourage manufacturers to create low GI wholegrain products that help reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. The benefits of wholegrain products are already widely known, including a study from Harvard University earlier this year that said a bowl of wholegrain cereal every day could reduce the risk of heart failure by 27 per cent. The study from Sweden also indicated that having a breakfast low in GI helped people concentrate better for the rest of the morning and the subjects had a better working memory than the other group. "It is known that a carbohydrate-rich breakfast with low GI can moderate increases in blood sugar after lunch,"​ said Anne Nilsson from the Unit for Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry at Lund University. "But my results show that low GI in combination with the right amount of so-called indigestible carbohydrates, can keep the blood-sugar level low for up to ten hours, which means until after dinner." ​ Of the four types of grain tested, barley proved to show the best results, but the wholegrains in bread worked better than boiled grains in porridge, according to Nilsson. "These findings can therefore provide valuable information for tailoring a new generation of whole-grain products with low GI that can counteract these so-called lifestyle diseases,"​ she said. The study also indicated that eating certain grains before bed affects blood sugar in the same way as after breakfast. However, the researcher noted that healthy subjects with low glucose tolerance performed less well in mental tests following the breakfast than those who have a high glucose tolerance. "These findings indicate that people with great fluctuations in their levels of blood sugar run a greater risk of having a generally lower cognitive ability,"​ Nilsson added.

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