A new study from The British Medical Journal revealed that eating more fruits and vegetables can slash your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 50%. It's a large case study that involved over 23,000 participants and spanned a period of more than 16 years.
"The overall number of subjects make this a truly powerful investigative effort," Dr. Mauricio Gonzalez, a New York-based internist, told "Today." The study found that even a modest increase in the consumption of fruit and vegetables had a positive effect in reducing the risk of diabetes.
Here are five tips gleaned from the study:
- Fill up half your plate with fruits and veggies. Everyday Health says that greens, cucumbers, and peppers are great veggie choices. Berries, peaches, and apples with the skin on are the best fruits to incorporate into your diabetes diet.
- Pair protein and carbohydrates carefully. Eating carbs along with protein or plant-based fat helps minimize blood sugar fluctuations. An example is putting peanut butter on a whole-wheat cracker.
- Eat a rainbow of foods to reduce inflammation. Eating brightly colored plant foods increases your intake of inflammation-busting phytonutrients.
- Boost fiber. Dr. Gonzales said that fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Aim for 8 to 10 grams each meal. A half cup of lentils has 8 grams.
- Divide and conquer. Spread your intake of fruit and vegetables throughout the day. "My go-to breakfast is oatmeal, flaxseeds, berries, and soy milk," Gonzalez said. When you make a sandwich, add extra vegetables or blend extra fruit into your smoothie, he added.
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