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How can oatmeal reduce my risk of diabetes?

There's no guaranteed way to a future free of blood sugar problems. But why not slash your risk by 61%? Especially when all it may take is a few extra bowls of oatmeal.

In a study, people who consumed the highest amount of cereal fiber were 61% less likely to develop diabetes over a 10-year period.

The study surveyed the diets of 4,000 men and women without diabetes and tracked their health for a decade. People who got lots of fiber in their diets were less likely to develop diabetes -- but the fiber source mattered. Only fiber from grains and cereals seemed to affect diabetes risk. Fiber from fruits and veggies, although essential to health for many other reasons, didn't have much of an impact. Just how much cereal fiber are we talking? People with the lowest risk of developing diabetes reported eating at least 25 grams of fiber from grains and cereals daily.

Soluble fiber -- the stuff found in grains and cereals -- makes your blood sugar happy because the fiber is digested slowly. That means a slower and gentler blood sugar response. And oats are one of the best sources of soluble fiber around. Just make sure to give preference to steel-cut oats, which have been processed the least and retain the most fiber and nutrients. Rolled oats are a good second choice. But instant oatmeal? Not nearly as impressive. A single serving typically contains just three grams of fiber, but a single serving of steel-cut oats typically has more than double that

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.