To learn more about whole grains’ relationship with diabetes prevention and management, we caught up with Dr. Philip Scharper, an ophthalmologist who works with many patients with diabetes complications, and who is also the founder of Serious Oats® hot cereal.

Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body is not able to metabolize carbohydrates properly, leading to high levels of sugar in the blood. Whether you have diabetes or not, it’s important to make your carbs count. In fact, the American Diabetes Association names whole grains as one of their top 10 “diabetes super-foods.” To learn more about whole grains’ relationship with diabetes prevention and management, we caught up with Dr. Philip Scharper, an ophthalmologist who works with many patients with diabetes complications, and who is also the founder of Serious Oats® hot cereal.

Old-ways Whole Grains Council: What does research tell us about diabetes prevention? Are there lifestyle changes we can make that have been shown to reduce our risk of developing diabetes?

Dr. Philip Scharper: Whether you are at risk or not, staying physically active and maintaining a healthy diet are two of the best ways to keep yourself on the right path. Making healthy choices at meal time is the easiest place to start. Choose a diet rich with fiber and whole grains to help maintain your blood sugar levels and minimize insulin sensitivity. Stay away from foods that are high in simple carbohydrates that will spike your blood sugar levels. And get moving. The body uses insulin more efficiently for up to 70 hours after exercise. So exercising three or four times a week is extremely beneficial in prevention and management of diabetes.

WGC: What are some common misconceptions you hear about diabetes?

PS: It is a common misconception that eating too many sweets is the only way to get Type 2 diabetes. Though sugar plays a role, it is important to understand the whole picture. Learn about what you are eating. For example, the difference between a simple carbohydrate and a complex carbohydrate is a good place to start. Simple carbohydrates like glucose, fructose, sucrose, which are found in fruit juice and corn syrup, are composed of easy-to-digest basic sugars. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, brown rice, and legumes are rich in fiber and break down slower in the digestive system. This slower breakdown prevents your body from experiencing spikes in blood sugar which is important in managing Type 2 diabetes. In fact, a recent study suggests that increasing one’s intake of whole-grain wheat, oats, and rye helps to reduce a person’s risk for developing Type 2 diabetes for this very reason.

WGC: As a doctor, it must have been quite an eye-opener to get involved in the food industry as well. Can you describe your journey to creating a line of healthy food products, and what inspires you?

PS: My experience as a physician was the catalyst to the creation of Serious Oats®. I work many days where it is common to go 6 to 8 hours or more without eating… I wanted to find a combination of nutrients that would keep me satiated and fueled during long hours in the operating room or clinic. As an ophthalmologist and retina specialist, I see many patients struggling with the effects of diabetes. Both Types 1 and 2 diabetes are potentially blinding, causing retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts.  I have found that, like me, my patients also struggle to find convenient, healthy and tasty meal options. I am proud to have created something that can hopefully help patients avoid the devastating effects of diabetes.

Hawos Flour Mill- domestic atta chakki |domestic flour mill

Designer mill with corners and curves

The Oktagon features a new appearance from every angle. As the light hits the different angles of the housing, the solid beech surface texture shows off its natural beauty. Luminescent at times and at others in dark velvet. The interplay of the angular and curved elements creates an exciting yet equally harmonious design. In spite of its utter beauty, performance isn’t sacrificed in the least. Whether a compact Oktagon 1 or a large Oktagon 2, it is versatile and convenient to use thanks to its powerful motor and exceptionally low noise emission.

Eight sides – eight good reasons

1. Solid housing made of solid beech wood

2. A design that will bring joy for decades

3. Single-handed operation

4. Robust and powerful industrial motor

5. Corundum ceramic grinding stones with 70 mm diameter

6. Low noise development at great output speeds

7. High quality craftsmanship goes into every part

8. 5 years warranty and excellent service

If you are looking for a timeless design, combined with easy single-hand operation, you’ll love the hawos Oktini.

hawos Billy, Queen and Mill

The classic beauty for fans of straight-forward objectivity

The flour mills Billy, Queen and Mill present them – selves in the same shape but with housings made from different materials.

The hawos Mill is made of solid beech wood, a linseed oil varnish protects the surface and optimally accents the lively grain of the solid wood.

High-grade plywood is used in the housing of the Billy and Queen models. Special gluing of the individual layers of the housing guarantees a particularly high degree of stability. Our plywood presents itself with avant-garde reserve – in birch with Billy and beech with Queen.

Billy, Queen and Mill are each available in a compact construction featuring a 360-watt motor or the more powerful and larger variant with 600 watts


Opinions about the ‘best’ way to fuel your body for optimal health and longevity will always exist. Conflicting advice about what you should, and what you shouldn’t, eat is hard to avoid. With a new dietary villain around every corner and new panacea behind every door – it’s easy to get exhausted and feel lost in the chaos!

For many, the term ‘diet’ conjures up the type of eating pattern encouraged by this narrative – one of exclusion, extremes, and restrictive, rigid plans. However, the top 10 overall diets of 2019, as ranked by The US News and World report, highlight a different attitude toward the idea of a diet. Though distinct in purpose and direction, they each offer approachable guidelines towards a healthy lifestyle, focusing on the advice you have probably heard before. Though these diets vary, they share commonalities and themes which shine a light on trends in our current health and nutrition landscape at large, emphasizing: whole foods, the energy quality of our food, and chronic disease prevention. We are proud to report – though we can’t say we’re surprised – that whole grains play an active role in the top 10 diets on this list by supporting these larger themes.

More Whole, Plant-Based Foods

These diets echo each other, despite the fact that their end goals range from weight loss to brain health. They emphasize increased consumption of whole, minimally-processed foods. We have all heard it before (probably from Mom), but these diets encourage us to put more vegetables, whole grains, and fruits on our plates. Limited consumption of poultry and low-fat meat is part of the majority of these diets, with the Mediterranean Diet promoting seafood consumption and the Nordic Diet encouraging high-quality meat in the limited instances meat is consumed. The popularity of the Flexitarian Diet exemplifies the success of this light-on-meat attitude – while mostly vegetarian, it makes room for animal protein when the mood strikes.

Energy Quality

Energy quality is a slightly different way to categorize the food we consume. Highly-refined and fatty foods contain a concentrated punch of energy in a small package – meeting a large portion of your daily energy requirements with just a few bites. This can restrict the diversity and volume of higher-quality foods consumed over the course of the day, and can easily lead to an overconsumption of energy.

The Volumetric and the Mayo Clinic diets use energy density as the scaffolding for their recommendations. The energy density of a food is its energy content per unit of weight. Plant-based foods tend to exhibit low energy density, with high fiber and water content. Fatty and refined foods, on the other hand, are energy-dense, containing high-calorie counts per unit of weight. As US News and World Report points out, “for about the same amount of calories you could have a quarter of a Snickers bar or about 2 cups of broccoli.” By recommending foods with a lower energy density (like broccoli), these diets limit your energy consumption without reducing the total amount of food you eat.

Whole grains not only have low energy density, but intact whole grains have a low Glycemic Index as well – a measurement which rates how quickly carbohydrates are converted into glucose/energy. Your body breaks down whole grains more slowly than it does refined grains, making whole grains a more sustained energy source for your body. You can learn more about whole grain energy quality here.

Chronic disease

The rising rates of chronic diseases worldwide has reached epidemic proportions, so it is no surprise that these diets focus on the prevention of one or more chronic diseases. The Mediterranean and Ornish Diets focus on heart health, and the MIND Diet, true to its name, aims to promote a healthy brain. Managing hypertension and cholesterol is a common goal for almost all of these diets. It’s no surprise, then, to see whole grain recommendations showing up again and again, given the strong role they play in preventing many of the most common chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.

No matter which way you spin it, whole grains are an important part of a healthful diet. The common themes of this year’s best overall diets show exclusion and extremes are not promoting, and individuals are looking elsewhere. Whether it be for brain health or heart health, there is  to be found centering around eating a diverse array of wholesome foods. (Abby)