Whole grains are notoriously the most good-for-you option in the carbohydrate world. They’re a staple in some of the healthiest eating styles (like the Mediterranean diet) since they’re a good source of antioxidants, essential minerals, and dietary fiber. Now, a recent systematic review and meta-analysis investigated how eating whole grains may influence blood sugar when compared to non-whole grains.
The review, published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, used data from 48 articles to assess how whole grains affect changes in fasting glucose and fasting insulin, among other things. They found that eating whole grains was linked with “a significant reduction” in both fasting glucose and fasting insulin. Somewhat surprisingly, the researchers reported that specifically oats, compared to mixed grains, brown rice, and wheat, had a lower impact on glycemic index—good news for those who like to start the day with a bowl of oatmeal.*