Foods that Lower Diabetes Risk

October 21, 2013

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When you start a new diet, it seems like you’re given a laundry list off foods that are off limits—no ice cream, potato chips, cookies, French fries, etc. You’re told they will give you diabetes or a heart attack, to think of these foods as a splurge at best.

Personally, I don’t believe any foods are completely off limits, but what if we turned this way of thinking around and focused on the foods you can eat. Some foods have actually proven to lower diabetes risk. Nearly 79 million adults are estimated to have pre-diabetes, and there’s something you can do about it. It’s time to start looking at weight loss in a positive light and focus on eating foods that can lower diabetes risk.

Whole Fruit: A recent study published in BMJ Open found a diet high in whole fruits can lower diabetes risk. Researchers found three servings per week of blueberries, grapes, raisins, apples, or pears significantly reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, fruit juice doesn’t count. Increasing consumption of fruit juice is associated with an increased diabetes risk, likely because of added sugars. By substituting juice for whole fruit, you reduce your diabetes risk by 7 percent. Whole fruit is an excellent addition to any meal or snack, and it will keep you feeling full because it’s packed with fiber.

Low-Fat Dairy: You can have your cheese and eat it too. In moderation, it’s great for your health. Stick to the low-fat versions, and it’s an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that cheese-eaters have a 12 percent lower risk of the disease than non cheese-eaters.

Nuts: Nuts may be high in calories, but they make up for it in nutrition. Studies show people who regularly eat tree nuts (walnuts, almonds and cashews) have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as heart disease and metabolic syndrome. Separate into snack-size portions to make sure you don’t overdo it. One serving of nuts goes a long way. You’ll feel satisfied until your next meal.

Switch to Whole Grains: Refined carbohydrates can cause blood sugar levels to skyrocket. Check the ingredient list on your bread—you’ll be shocked by the amount of sugar in one slice. Switch to whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta. You won’t taste the difference, but the added fiber can help reduce diabetes risk.

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Comments (2)

[…] no sweets, no chips, etc. While limiting these foods is important if you want to lose weight, labeling foods off limits can do more harm than […]

[…] One study at the Curtin Institute of Technology found those who increased their daily servings of dairy products from three to five lost more weight. But some cheeses are better options than others. Feta, […]

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