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Harvard study indicates:

Plant-based foods cut diabetes risk

According to a new study, a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts, coffee, legumes and other plant-based foods reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in generally healthy people. More than four million people in the UK are thought to have type 2 diabetes – including an estimated 1 million who don’t know it. The disease is typically caused by unhealthy diets, genes, lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise and being overweight or obese.

However, the evidence is mounting that eating large amounts of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, while steering clear of sugary drinks and refined grains such as white rice and white bread, can really help.

Professor Frank Hu, of Harvard University: “Healthy plant foods are rich in fibre, minerals, antioxidant vitamins, and healthy fats in the form of nuts and seeds. These nutrients are beneficial for reducing insulin resistance and chronic inflammation, which are strongly linked to diabetes.”  

“On the other hand, a dietary pattern higher in unhealthy plant foods such as refined grains, sugary beverages, and sweets is not beneficial for diabetes prevention. A key message here is that not all plant-based diets are healthy,” he said. “Our findings support the beneficial role of healthy plant-based diets in diabetes prevention.”

Global prevalence of the disease in adults has more than tripled in less than two decades, with cases increasing from around 150 million in 2000 to over 450 million in 2019 and projected to rise to around 700 million in 2045. The study is published in the journal Diabetologia and involved 10,682 participants.


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