Friday, June 20, 2008

Who Knew Cold Cereal Did This?

American Diabetes Wholesale - Up to 60% OffPeople who eat lots of whole-grain foods, especially fiber-rich cereals, may be less likely to develop metabolic syndrome, a clustering of risk factors that often precedes type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, Reuters reports of new research from Tufts University in Boston, Mass.

In other words: Eat cereal for breakfast. Stay healthy longer.

How much do you need to eat? Three or more servings of whole grains daily, according to study author Dr. Nicola M. McKeown of the Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts. Three servings is a lot when you consider that the average American consumes less than one serving of whole-grain foods a day. In addition to fortified cold cereals, whole-grain foods include oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice, and more. But read the labels carefully! Whole grain products should list a whole grain ingredient, such as "whole wheat," "whole rye," "whole oats" or "graham flour," as the first ingredient on the label.

It's worth the effort to get three or more servings daily. "People who ate this much whole grain had better insulin sensitivity and were less likely to have the metabolic syndrome," McKeown told Reuters.

Those who have metabolic syndrome have at least three of these traits:

  • Waist measurement of more than 40 inches around in men or 35 inches in women.
  • Triglyceride levels in the blood of 150 or greater.
  • HDL ("good") cholesterol that is less than 40 in men or less than 50 in women.
  • Blood pressure of 130/85 or more.
  • Fasting blood sugar of 100 or more.

An estimated 24 percent of adults in the United States have metabolic syndrome. They are at an increased risk of getting type 2 diabetes, which occurs when insulin is no longer able to regulate blood sugar levels. McKeown's study of 2,800 adults showed that higher consumption of whole-grain foods, particularly cereals, was associated with a lower risk of insulin resistance. The study also found that people who ate more fiber from cereals were less likely to develop the metabolic syndrome, notes Reuters.

The research findings were published in the journal Diabetes Care.

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