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Upping High-Quality, Whole-Grain Carbs May Lower Risk for T2DM

Higher intake of low-quality carbohydrates tied to higher T2DM risk only when replacing saturated fat

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MONDAY, June 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Higher intake of high-quality carbohydrates (HQC) is associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D), according to a study presented at Nutrition Live Online 2020, a virtual conference hosted by the American Society for Nutrition and held from June 1 to 4.

Kim V. Braun, Ph.D., from the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues used semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire data from the 69,949 women from the Nurses' Health Study, 90,239 women from the Nurses' Health Study 2, and 40,539 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study to assess the association between carbohydrate quantity and quality and risk for T2D.

The researchers identified 11,872 cases of T2D. In pooled multivariable-adjusted analyses, substituting 5 percent of energy from saturated fat with 5 percent of energy from low-quality carbohydrates (LQC) was associated with a higher risk for T2D (hazard ratio [HR], 1.05; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.00 to 1.09), while substitution with HQC was associated with a lower risk for T2D (HR, 0.93; 95 percent CI, 0.87 to 0.99). There was no association between isocaloric substitution of other macronutrients with LQC and T2D risk. However, a lower risk for T2D was associated with isocaloric substitution of HQC when the replacement nutrient was monounsaturated fat (HR, 0.88; 95 percent CI, 0.83 to 0.94), polyunsaturated fat (HR, 0.92; 95 percent CI, 0.86 to 0.98), trans fat (HR, 0.90; 95 percent CI, 0.85 to 0.97), animal protein (HR, 0.88; 95 percent CI, 0.83 to 0.93), and vegetable protein (HR, 0.90; 95 percent CI, 0.84 to 0.96).

"These results highlight the importance of distinguishing between carbohydrates from high- and low-quality sources when examining diabetes risk," Braun said in a statement. "Conducting similar studies in people with various socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities, and age will provide insight into how applicable these findings are for other groups."

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