Vegetables, low in calories/kilojoules and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, are part of any healthful diet and are really essential for people with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Being overweight or obese, especially with abdominal fat, is one risk factor for type 2 diabetes and makes controlling the disorder difficult. Foods high in fiber and low concentrations of calories can fill up your digestive system and satisfy hunger without adding fat.
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One study looked at diet in over 75,000 people over a 14 year period. Diets were classified into three groups:
- meat and fat
- fruit and milk and
At the end of the study, men in the meat and fat group had the higher rate of type 2 diabetes than men in the other groups. This was especially true among overweight and obese men. The vegetable group had the lowest risk of type 2 diabetes among men, and among women the fruit and milk group had the lowest risk.
The Framingham Study looked at over 2800 Americans without diabetes, studying their dietary habits in relation to their body mass index, insulin sensitivity, and waist circumference, among other variables:
- those whose main calorie intake was from fruits, vegetables, reduced-fat dairy and whole grains, had a lower average waist size than did the group who got most of their calories from refined grains and sugar
- the highest consumers of soda had lower insulin sensitivity than did the people in the fruits, vegetables, reduced-fat dairy, and whole grains group. Insulin insensitivity or insulin resistance, is the cause of type 2 diabetes
Maintaining a normal weight, reducing belly fat, and increasing insulin sensitivity may not be the only benefits of a high vegetable diet. High concentrations of blood sugar makes arteries lose their elasticity, making it difficult for them to conduct enough blood throughout your body. Arterial damage may also be responsible for the increased blood pressure seen in the metabolic syndrome which is a combination of diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), abdominal obesity, high triglycerides (a kind of blood fat) and low HDL (good cholesterol).
It is possible arterial damage caused by high blood sugar levels may be:
- prevented with vitamins C and E
- thiamine is another vitamin that may help to prevent or repair arterial damage and may also be of some benefit at preventing the kidney disorders sometimes seen in diabetes
Turnip greens, and beet greens are good sources of thiamine. Cabbage, potatoes, spinach, and broccoli contain healthful amounts of vitamin C. Spinach, artichokes, asparagus, and broccoli are good vegetable sources of vitamin E.
Are you looking for effective ways to manage your type 2 diabetes?
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Beverleigh Piepers is a registered nurse who would like to help you understand how to live easily and happily with your type 2 diabetes.
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