Type 2 diabetes is becoming one of the fastest growing diseases in the industrialised world, largely due to our lifestyles. Diabetes is a strong risk factor for heart disease and can cause devastating side effects such as blindness, diseases necessitating amputation and kidney failure.
Eating a good diet can reduce the risk of developing diabetes, and a recent study from Norway and the UK suggests that a high intake of dietary fibre reduced the risk by 18%, particulary fibre available from wholegrains and cereals. This is possibly because fibre is known to help keep our weight stable and has many beneficial properties. Firstly, fibre slows the release the sugars into the blood, which keeps a nice even blood sugar level preventing spikes and troughs in insulin. Secondly, fibre has a role in satiety, keeping us feeling fuller longer and less likely to snack between meals. Fibre (particularly from oats) has shown to control blood cholesterol, another known risk factor for heart disease.
You can read more about this study here.
This study showed that a minimum of 26g of fibre a day had a protective effect, and the following are rich sources:
– wholewheat bread
– nuts and seeds
– lentils and pulses
– oats, oat porridge
– brown rice
Seb is a writer and blogger of food and nutrition. He holds a bachelors and a masters degree in nutrition science, and has studied sports and exercise nutrition at postgraduate level. He specialises in plant-based nutrition and believes passionately that we can all live with a little less meat.