Frequent Nut Consumption Can Help to Prevent Diabetes and Improve Blood Glucose Control
This year, the WHO, ( World Health Organization) is focusing on diabetes in order to increase awareness about its rise and staggering burden and consequences, in particular in low-and middle-income countries. The International Nut & Dried Fruit Council (INC) wants to raise awareness about the importance of nuts in the treatment and prevention of this disease.
Cyril Kendall, PhD at the department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, explains that this increase of prevalence is linked to our changing lifestyle. “We are becoming less active and our diet is becoming overly processed. This unhealthy diet not only increases blood glucose levels but it also leads to an increase in body weight which further increases the risk of developing diabetes”. Kendall, who has been studying the relation of nut consumption and diabetes, says that “based on the current scientific evidence, nuts may play an important role in improving the risk factors for this disease. Population studies have shown that frequent nut consumption is inversely associated to diabetes development and clinical studies indicate that nuts can help to improve blood glucose control in diabetes”.
In fact, nut consumption has been associated with beneficial effects on glucose and insulin levels, according to the latest studies about the relationship between nut intake and type 2 diabetes (T2D). The PREDIMED study concluded that the results of two Mediterranean Diet groups which added extra virgin olive oil and nuts reduced the risk to suffer diabetes by 52%. In addition, researchers at the Human Nutrition Unit, from Rovira i Virgili University, have proven that the intake of two ounces (57 g) of pistachios per day has a significant effect: it decreases fasting glucose, and favors insulin and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance. Also, researchers at the Shih-Chien University and the Chang Gung University of Science and Tech (Taiwan), have shown that 60 g/day almond consumption improved glycemic control in patients with T2D.
Currently, about 400 million people (more than 5% of the world’s population) have T2D. It is estimated that by 2035 there will be almost 600 million people living with T2D and almost 900 million people with pre-diabetes, a silent state associated with a high risk of several deadly conditions including T2D, heart disease, hypertension, strokes and early death.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr Anne Sullivan
Diet Drinks Don’t Promote Weight Loss: Study
You might remember that we have presented this problem before, but it is good enough to bring out the subject again.
Although diet and sugar-free drinks are often promoted as healthier choices, a new study found they are no more helpful for losing weight or preventing weight gain than their full-sugar versions.
Diet drinks contain no sugar and are sweetened with artificial sweeteners instead, and they are often believed by consumers to be healthier. But, say researchers from Imperial College London and two Brazilian universities, there is no solid evidence to support claims they are healthier or that they help prevent obesity and obesity related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes.
“A common perception, which may be influenced by industry marketing, is that because ‘diet’ drinks have no sugar, they must be healthier and aid weight loss when used as a substitute for full sugar versions,” said Christopher Millet from Imperial’s School of Public Health. “However, we found no solid evidence to support this.”
Despite having no or very little energy content, there is a concern that artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) might trigger eating by stimulating sweet taste receptors. When coupled with the consumers’ awareness of the low-calorie content of diet drinks, people may eat more overall, which contributes to obesity, type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related health problems.
The study authors added: “Far from helping to solve the global obesity crisis, ASBs may be contributing to the problem and should not be promoted as part of a healthy diet.”
An earlier study from the University of Texas found that 59 percent of Americans drink diet sodas regularly hoping to lose weight.
Earlier studies have also found that diet sodas don’t help with weight loss. In fact, a study at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio found those who drank diet sodas were more likely to become overweight than those who drank regular sugary sodas.
Scientists found that for each can of diet soda consumed each day, the risk of obesity increased by 41 percent. After 10 years, those who drank two or more diet sodas a day increased their risk of obesity by 500 percent.
In addition, a study published in the journal Nature found that diet sodas change the microbes living in the gut in a way that increases the risk of diabetes.
Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science found that people who regularly used artificial sweeteners, including aspartame and saccharin, had elevated levels of HbA1C, a measure of blood sugar.
Another study, this one from the University of Minnesota, found that a single diet soda daily raised the risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes by 36 percent.
Health and Wellness Associates