Type 2 diabetes Diet with fruits and vegetables lowers the risk

Higher consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, according to two recently published studies. Above all, the results suggest that a slight increase in the consumption of such foods as part of a healthy diet could help prevent diabetes.

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In the first study, a team of European researchers examined the relationship between vitamin C and carotenoids (pigments in colorful fruits and vegetables) in blood levels at risk of developing diabetes. In addition, these proved to be reliable indicators of the intake of fruits and vegetables. This was shown by the use of questionnaires in the study. The study results are based on 9754 adults who developed new type 2 diabetes. A comparison group also consisted of 13662 adults who remained free of diabetes during the follow-up examination. 340 234 participants took part in the European prospective study on cancer and nutrition (EPIC). So this is the so-called InterAct study, which took place in eight European countries.

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The lifestyle, as well as the social and dietary risk factors for type 2 diabetes are related to higher blood levels of vitamin C and carotenoids and their sum in combination to form a “composite biomarker score”. The researchers linked this to a lower risk of developing diabetes. Compared to those with the lowest composite biomarker analysis, the risk was lower by 50% for those in the top 20% of the population. The risk in people with biomarkers between these two extremes was moderate. In addition, researchers anticipate that every 66 grams per day increase in total fruit and vegetable intake is associated with a 25% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Results from the second study

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In the second study, researchers examined relationships between total and individual whole grain intake and diabetes. Their results are based on 158 259 women and 36 525 men who were free from diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The top category participants for total whole grain consumption had a 29% lower rate. The researchers compared this with the subjects in the lowest category. Eating one or more servings of cold cereal or dark bread a day reduced the risk by 19%. However, this risk reduction appeared to plateau at around two servings per day for total whole grain intake and at around half a serving per day for cold whole grain breakfast cereals and dark bread.

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Both studies are observational studies and therefore cannot determine a cause. There is also the possibility that some of the results are due to unmeasured factors. However, research takes into account several known lifestyle risk factors and nutritional quality markers. In addition, these study results support other research findings that combine healthy eating with better health. The whole thing supports the current recommendations for increasing the consumption of fruit, vegetables and whole grains for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Consumption in a moderately increased amount could therefore prevent such diseases among population groups that normally consume only small amounts.

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