Monday, 24 December 2012

Secret Weapons to Fight Diabetes


Canola oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil, peanut oil, pesto sauce, safflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil Diabetes-friendly facts: Research shows people with type 2 diabetes who followed a Mediterranean diet enriched with MUFAs had their fasting blood sugar drop by 30 points—that's enough to lower the doses of diabetes medications, or in some cases, eliminate them entirely. MUFAs also lower insulin resistance—which is when cells throughout the body stop responding to insulin's commands to take in sugar from the bloodstream; eating saturated fat actually increases resistance, according to Swedish scientists.

Added health bonus:

Extra virgin olive oil contains antioxidants that short-circuit the growth of heart-threatening plaque on artery walls. Canola, safflower, sesame, soybean, and sunflower oils are rich in vitamin E, which may help prevent atherosclerosis and colon cancer. One serving equals: 1 tablespoon 

2. Olives

Black olives, black olive tapenade, green olives, green olive tapenade Diabetes-friendly facts: Sprinkle sliced olives over pasta or spread tapenade on your favorite crackers and you set in motion body-chemistry changes that usher dangerous visceral fat out. When researchers at Penn State University assigned 53 overweight adults to a low-fat diet packed with carbs or a higher fat diet with plenty of MUFAs, the MUFA group saw a 20% reduction in visceral fat.
Added health bonus: Rich in copper and iron—which protect your nerves, thyroid gland, and connective tissue throughout the body—as well as vitamin E. One serving equals: 10 large olives or 2 tablespoons of tapenade 

3. Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, Brazil nuts, natural peanut butter, dry-roasted cashews, dry-roasted peanuts, dry-roasted sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, roasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts Diabetes-friendly facts: One step before prediabetes is metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that can also lead to heart attacks, strokes, some forms of cancer, and even dementia. Exercise helps fight metabolic syndrome, and so do MUFAs: One study found that among people who followed a Mediterranean eating plan with extra nuts and a Mediterranean diet with an extra serving of virgin olive oil, the rates of metabolic syndrome dropped 14% and 7%, respectively. People who followed a low-fat diet only saw a 2% drop.
Added health bonus:
These little nutritional powerhouses are full of fiber, protein, iron, zinc, B vitamins, and other nutrients—many of which help protect your heart, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and keep you feeling full. One serving equals: 2 tablespoons 

4. Avocados

Florida avocado, Hass avocado Diabetes-friendly facts: MUFAs help you lose weight because they're satisfying; they also help you keep the pounds off: An international research team put more than 300 moderately obese people on a low-carb, low-fat, or Mediterranean diet rich in MUFAs. They all lost weight after 5 months, but only the MUFA group maintained an average 11-pound weight loss after 2 years; the other two groups regained some weight.
Added health bonus:
Full of folate (which helps lower heart attack risk), as well as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta carotene—antioxidants that help promote eye health and battle oral and prostate cancers. Another bonus: Toss avocado slices into your salad and you double the absorption of carotenoids from greens and other vegetables, giving your body further protection from heart disease and macular degeneration (a leading cause of blindness). One serving equals: 1/4 cup 

5. Dark Chocolate

Dark or semisweet chocolate chips, shavings, or chunks—aim for cacao content of 70% or higher Diabetes-friendly facts: Having diabetes, prediabetes, or metabolic syndrome makes you up to four times more likely to develop heart disease; plus, high blood pressure, low levels of "good" HDL cholesterol, and high levels of heart-threatening fats called triglycerides often accompany these blood sugar-related problems. Government nutritional guidelines recommend a total fat intake of 25 to 35% of daily calories—with saturated fat no more than 7% and MUFAs up to 20%.
 Added health bonus:
Packed with antioxidants that keep arteries flexible and help raise "good" HDL cholesterol, they can also lower blood pressure enough to cut the risk of stroke by up to 8% and heart attack by 5%, according to a small German study One serving equals: 1/4 cup 

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