Eating whole grains has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes because of their high content of fiber, antioxidants, and other healthy chemicals for the body (called phytochemicals). Now researchers have shown that eating whole grain foods, including whole grain breakfast cereal, oatmeal, dark bread, brown rice, added bran, and wheat germ, significantly lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For example, a half serving a day of whole grain cold breakfast cereal and dark bread is the most effective. Even though popcorn is a whole grain, researchers found that when people eat more than 1 serving per day, type 2 diabetes risk actually increases, likely because they eat processed popcorn with unhealthy fats and salt. Overall, these findings support the idea of increasing the amount of whole grains a person eats as part of a healthy diet for the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
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