Diet Dos, Don'ts to Cut Diabetes Risk
Studies Suggest Eating Fruits, Vegetables and Cutting Down on Sugary Drinks
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Fruits and Vegetables May Cut Diabetes Risk continued...
After controlling for multiple other lifestyle factors, including vitamin
supplement intake, the diagnosis of diabetes was 62% less likely in people with
the highest blood levels of vitamin C and 22% less likely in those with the
highest intake of fruits and vegetables. Participants with the highest vitamin
C levels ate five to six servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
"Because fruit and vegetables are the main sources of vitamin C, the
findings suggest that eating even a small quantity of fruit and vegetables may
be beneficial and that the protection against diabetes increases progressively
with the quantity of fruits and vegetables consumed," write the
researchers, who included Anne-Helen Harding, PhD, of Addenbrooke's Hospital in
Low-Fat Diet: No Impact?
The third study set out to see whether a low-fat diet would lower diabetes
risk in healthy postmenopausal women. But that turned out to be a tall
The study included nearly 46,000 postmenopausal U.S. women. The researchers,
who included Lesley Tinker, PhD, of Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research
Center, split the women into two groups.
One group was assigned to cut their dietary fat to 20% of their daily
calories, down from about 38% at the study's start. Women in that group also
got intensive nutritional and behavioral counseling and regular group meetings
to help them meet the low-fat goal.
For comparison, women in the other group weren't told to cut back on their
dietary fat. They got a pamphlet with the federal government's dietary
guidelines, but no counseling or group meetings.
None of the women in either group was asked to lose weight or get more
The study lasted for about eight years, and during that time, women in both
groups were equally likely to report being diagnosed with diabetes. So Tinker's
team concludes that cutting back on fat without exercising or losing weight may
not be enough to curb diabetes risk.
But there is a catch: The women in the low-fat group cut back on fat, but
not as much as they were supposed to.
Diet surveys showed that a year after the study began, the women in the
low-fat group got about 24% of their daily calories from fat (mostly from
saturated fat), and that this percentage edged up to almost 29% (still mostly
saturated fat) by the study's sixth year -- well over the 20% goal.
Trends in body weight were similar, with the low-fat women initially
showing an average 5.3-pound weight loss, but regaining most of that weight by
the end of the study.