Cut your chances of type-2 diabetes by eating fruits, veggies and whole grain-rich meals, suggest studies
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 34 million Americans are battling the disease and nearly 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes
Consuming fruits and vegetables every day may help ward off type 2 diabetes. The same applies to foods rich in whole grains such as breakfast cereal, oatmeal, dark bread and brown rice. These are the findings of two separate studies that evaluated the benefits of healthy eating in lowering the sugar condition. "The public health implication of this observation is that the consumption of even a moderately increased amount of fruit and vegetables among populations who typically consume low levels could help to prevent type 2 diabetes," according to authors of the first study.
The second research found that a diet rich in whole grains cut the disease risk by 29%. But popcorn, if eaten every day, could do more harm than good. In 2017, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 34 million Americans are battling the disease and nearly 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes. It strikes when people stop responding to the insulin hormone, which controls blood sugar levels.
Fruits, vegetables and their connection to diabetes
Though previous studies have investigated the impact of fruits and vegetable intake on diabetes, they have been inconsistent and weak, according to researchers from Europe. It is because the researchers based their findings on participants' responses to questionnaires. The approach is not very reliable as people may not accurately recollect their food consumption.
So the team opted for an objective and unbiased approach: blood tests. They measured Vitamin C and carotenoids in the plasma which indirectly tells scientists about the fruit and vegetable intake. The study included more than 9,000 participants with type 2 diabetes and 13,662 healthy individuals from more than eight countries. After performing the tests, the team found that the healthy group had a higher mean concentration of vitamin C and carotenoids in the blood compared to the patients with the sugar condition. A mere 66g of fruits and vegetables a day can help. "These findings provide strong evidence for the recommendation that fruit and vegetable intake should be increased to prevent type 2 diabetes," the study authors suggest. "It should be noted that these findings and other available evidence suggest that fruit and vegetable intake, rather than vitamin supplements, is potentially beneficial for the prevention of type 2 diabetes," they added.
Whole grains should be part of a healthy diet
Whole grains boast of high fiber content, along with antioxidants and phytochemicals. Previous studies have suggested that people consuming these foods had a lower risk of developing several major chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and some types of cancer. But its effects on the risk of type 2 diabetes are unexplored, according to study authors from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
The researchers recruited 158, 259 American women and 36,525 men. When the study began, none of them had type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer. The participants were evaluated using questionnaires. People consuming whole grains — around four to six servings a week — had a 29% lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those with lower intake.
"Participants with higher total whole grain consumption, on average, were more likely to be White participants, were slightly older, were less likely to be current smokers, were more likely to be leaner and multivitamin users and were more physically active, compared with participants with a lower intake," the authors suggest. "These findings provide further support for the current recommendations of increasing whole grain consumption as part of a healthy diet for the prevention of type 2 diabetes."