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March 22, 2007

Dietary Patterns Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Topics: Medicine

Surely not to your surprise by now, given the attention given to obesity and diabetes lately, a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology shows you can reduce your risk of developing type-2 diabetes by avoiding meats and fatty foods and adhering to salads and cooked vegetables:

Dr. Allison Hodge, of the University of Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues examined the association between dietary patterns and type 2 diabetes in a 4-year prospective study of 36,787 adults in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study who provided dietary information. During follow-up, 365 new cases of type 2 diabetes were diagnosed.

The researchers defined four eating patterns, based on factor analysis of 123 food and beverage items: Mediterranean, characterized by olive oil, salad vegetables, legumes and avoidance of sweet bakery items, margarine and tea (factor 1); salad and vegetables (factor 2); meats including other fatty foods (factor 3); and fruits (factor 4).

Factor 1 was associated with country of birth but not with diabetes, according to the authors. There was an inverse association observed between factor 2 and diabetes. Factor 3 was positively associated with diabetes. No association was observed between factor 4 and diabetes risk.

"Our results suggest that avoiding an eating pattern including meat and fatty foods, and favoring a pattern high in salad and cooked vegetables could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes," ...

While we're on the topic of Type 2 diabetes and dietary patterns, did you know that cinnamon may help alleviate type 2 diabetes by playing the role of an insulin substitute, and has been shown to help lower blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes? Adding a little cinnamon in your diet (it's great in steel-cut or thick & rough oatmeal) is easy to do.

A study published in the journal Diabetes Care in 2003 looked at 60 men and women with Type 2 diabetes who were taking diabetes pills. The participants took either 1, 3, or 6 grams of cassia cinnamon or a placebo, in capsule form, for 40 days. After this time, blood glucose levels dropped between 18% and 29% in all three groups that received cinnamon. However, only the participants who had taken the smallest amount of cinnamon (1 gram) continued to have improved blood glucose levels 20 days after they stopped taking it, for reasons the researchers didn't quite understand.

One gram of cinnamon, the lowest (and most effective) amount used in the study, is about ⅕ teaspoon. Three grams is about ½ teaspoon, and 6 grams is a little more than a teaspoon. If, after checking with your health-care provider, you want to see for yourself if cinnamon might help improve your blood glucose levels, start with the smallest dose (1 gram).
If you're interested in finding The Silver Palate thick and rough oatmeal in a store near you, I've been able to find it at my local Target store.

If you don't like the taste of cinnamon, you can take cinnamon capsules of the most effective dosage used in the above mentioned study (1000 mg - take 500 mg. twice a day) at Vitacost.com.

Posted by Richard at March 22, 2007 8:00 AM



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