Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Four Foods to Fight Diabetes

Once a rarity, type 2 diabetes is becoming commonplace in America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says more than 29 million people have diabetes and another 86 million have prediabetes (blood sugar levels high enough to indicate a risk of developing the disease in the near future). Modern research shows that these foods can help in the battle against diabetes:

AVOCADO: Eating the creamy fruit every day may help slow metabolic syndrome, which includes high blood glucose and obesity, and raises type 2 diabetes risk (April 2017 Phytotherapy). Avocado contains a powerful mix of health-boosting antioxidants, beneficial fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

LENTILS: People who eat more legumes, especially lentils, may be less likely to develop diabetes (Clinical Nutrition March 2017). Substituting lentils for some starchy carbs (bread, rice, potatoes) in the diet was especially effective at keeping diabetes at bay. Plant protein and lots of fiber in legumes likely keep blood sugar numbers in check.

STRAWBERRIES: A report in the Feb 2017 British Journal of Nutrition suggests that the abundance of polyphenols in strawberries and cranberries can improve insulin sensitivity, which could decrease diabetes risk in overweight people. Antioxidant polyphenols in berries may make cells more responsive to insulin, enabling better blood sugar control.

OATS: Fiber is very important in the battle against diabetes. Researchers (April 2017 Scientific Reports) found that a compound called indolepropionic acid, produced by bacteria in our guts in the presence of dietary fiber, can slow the development of diabetes presumably by improving the functioning of our insulin-producing beta-cells. Whole grans like oats, quinoa, and brown rice are reliable ways to bump up your daily fiber intake.

These foods, while healthy, must still be consumed with an awareness of your total caloric and macronutrient needs. Happy grocery shopping!

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