4 Foods to Help Reduce Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
by Tracey Pollack
Type 2 diabetes is one of the world’s most common conditions, yet it’s also one of the most misunderstood. First of all, there are two kinds of diabetes called Type 1 and Type 2. The first is an autoimmune condition you’re born with where your body cannot produce insulin, which is the hormone that regulates blood sugar. Type 2 is a condition that develops sometime in life where your body has a problem producing insulin and managing your blood sugar. Unlike Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 may be preventable by making some simple changes and exchanges in your diet. So get a taste of how consuming healthy foods may help take type 2 diabetes completely off the table.
- Go with the Grain
Whole grains have earned a whole lot of attention for their heart-healthy qualities. Now, it turns out that eating whole grains may offer protection from Type 2 diabetes. Research has found that men who ate the most whole grains decreased their Type 2 diabetes risk by 34%, while women who did the same saw a 22% reduction. The bran and fiber in whole grains help with insulin sensitivity and take longer to break down, which stabilizes blood sugar levels. There’s a whole spectrum of whole-grain choices, from whole-grain breads, cereals and pastas to hearty grains like quinoa, brown rice and barley, so it’s easy to fill your plate at every meal.
- Stalk Out Broccoli
While eating all types of cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts and cauliflower can help lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes, broccoli is one of the best. Studies have revealed that cruciferous vegetables like broccoli contain a chemical called sulforaphane that is believed to help lower blood sugar levels. And with broccoli’s bounty of vitamin C, vitamin A and satisfying fiber, this green is a good choice for staying healthy, controlling your weight and reducing your risk of diabetes. To boost broccoli’s benefits, steam it slightly or reach for it raw.
- Pick Blueberries
Fruit mistakenly crops up as a bad choice because of its naturally-occurring sugars, but there’s no good reason to avoid certain kinds that are lower in sugar, such as blueberries. Blueberries have long been considered “superfoods” because they’re bursting with antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and potassium that may help protect you from many developing chronic conditions. In fact, research has shown that people who regularly eat blueberries have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Adding these berries to your oatmeal, muffins and salads is both a sweet treat and a bright idea.
- Spill the Beans
You can count on beans like chickpeas, lentils, split peas and edamame to help reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes. A study published in Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate beans every week cut their diabetes risk by 35%. The magic of beans lies in how they are low on the glycemic index, which means that they control your blood sugar better than other starchy foods. They’re also low in calories, yet high in fiber which helps stabilize blood sugar levels and keeps you fuller longer, so you avoid non-stop snacking and keep your weight in check. So start snacking on roasted chickpeas, adding beans to your salads or making a batch of lentil soup to get the powerful protection of beans.
When you add these satisfying foods to your diet, you can stay one step ahead of Type 2 diabetes.