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Nuts, beans, and lentils best for improving blood glucose control

Posted on Dec. 17, 2008, 7:52 a.m. in Diabetes

Recent study results show that eating a diet that contains plenty of low-glycemic foods such as nuts, beans, and lentils is best for helping people with type 2 diabetes to improve their blood glucose control and reduce risk factors for heart disease.

Dr David Jenkins and colleagues studied the effectiveness of two different diets – a low-glycemic diet and a high-cereal fiber diet – on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes. Participants were randomly assigned to follow one of the diets for 6 months. Results showed that those following the low-glycemic diet saw greater improvement in their blood glucose control and heart disease risk factors than those following the high-cereal fiber diet.

The authors concluded: "Lowering the glycemic index of the diet improved glycemic control and risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD). These data have important implications for the treatment of diabetes where the goal has been tight glycemic control to avoid complications. The reduction in HbA1c was modest, but we think it has clinical relevance. Low–glycemic index diets may be useful as part of the strategy to improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes taking antihyperglycemic medications."

Jenkins DA, Kendall CWC, McKeown-Eyssen G. Effect of a Low–Glycemic Index or a High–Cereal Fiber Diet on Type 2 Diabetes. JAMA. 2008;300(23):2742-2753.


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