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  1. McKeown, Nicola M. PhD
  2. Crowninshield, Cindy A. RD, LDN, HHC
  3. Jacques, Paul F. ScD


Diets rich in whole-grain foods appear to protect against the development of type 2 diabetes. On January 31, 2011, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released and the recommendations with respect to grains were for individuals to "Consume at least half of all grains as whole grains" and "Increase whole-grain intake by replacing refined grains with whole grains." Several prospective observational studies have reported that people with higher intake of whole grains are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. One potential mechanism whereby whole grains may reduce the risk of developing diabetes is by maintaining insulin sensitivity. The insulin-sensitizing effect of whole grains might be partially due to dietary fiber or magnesium, 2 components of whole grains. In this review, we highlight the recent scientific evidence (ie, since the release of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines) on the role of whole grains on measures of insulin sensitivity