Cereals rich in whole grains and fibre could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, according to new research.
The study, conducted at the Harvard Public School of Health, used the results of a questionnaire that has been carried out 1993 to examine the health effects of cereal.
566,339 participants answered questions about their consumption of various food groups. They also noted their portion size.
Those who consumed 34g of whole grains per 1,000 calories were 17 per cent less likely to die early than those who ate 3.98g.
The diet reduced the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Although the news is positive, people with diabetes are advised to be careful in their choice of cereal. A recent study by Action on Sugar found that many breakfast cereals contain excessively large amounts of sugar.
Aldi’s Harvest Morn Choco Rice was the worst offender: in 2012, it contained 33g of sugar per 100g. In 2015, the figure was 39g per 100g, which is the equivalent of ten teaspoons of sugar per 100g.
People with diabetes are advised to carefully read the label on cereal. Some products can have a detrimental effect on blood sugar levels and long-term diabetes management.
Dr. Lu Qi, Associate Professor of Nutrition, said: “Our study indicates that intake of whole grains and cereal fibre may reduce the risk of all-cause mortality and death from chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease.
“Our findings should motivate future studies especially clinical trials and experimental studies to further testify the beneficial effects of whole grains and potential effective components such as fibre and other nutrients, and explore mechanisms.”

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