Diet Dos, Don'ts to Cut Diabetes Risk
Studies Suggest Eating Fruits, Vegetables and Cutting Down on Sugary Drinks
Beverage Industry Reaction continued...
"We agree that type 2 diabetes is an important public health problem,
particularly among African- American women, but it is important to recognize
that beverage consumption is not an identified risk factor for the
disease," says Maureen Storey, PhD, the American Beverage Association's
senior vice president for science policy.
Storey points out that the study recommends that women trying to lose weight
may find it easier to do so if they switch from regular sodas to diet sodas.
She also notes that the study's link between fruit-drink consumption and type 2
diabetes "is very weak or nonexistent. Therefore, avoiding these drinks may
have no effect on diabetes risk."
Lastly, Storey says it's not clear whether the researchers controlled for total
energy intake -- the total number of calories the women consumed from all
sources. An imbalance between energy intake (calories consumed) and energy
output (calories burned) can lead to weight gain over time, "and that,
aside from family history, is the most important factor in development of type
2 diabetes," says Storey.
Fruits and Vegetables May Cut Diabetes Risk
Eating more fruits and vegetables may cut diabetes risk, according to
another study in the journal.
The study included nearly 22,000 adults in Norfolk, England. When the study
started, they got a checkup, provided blood samples, and completed a diet and
Over the next 12 years, 735 of the participants developed diabetes.
After controlling for multiple other lifestyle factors, including vitamin
supplement intake, the diagnosis of diabetes was 62% less likely in people with
the highest blood levels of vitamin C and 22% less likely in those with the
highest intake of fruits and vegetables. Participants with the highest vitamin
C levels ate five to six servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
"Because fruit and vegetables are the main sources of vitamin C, the
findings suggest that eating even a small quantity of fruit and vegetables may
be beneficial and that the protection against diabetes increases progressively
with the quantity of fruits and vegetables consumed," write the
researchers, who included Anne-Helen Harding, PhD, of Addenbrooke's Hospital in
Low-Fat Diet: No Impact?
The third study set out to see whether a low-fat diet would lower diabetes
risk in healthy postmenopausal women. But that turned out to be a tall
The study included nearly 46,000 postmenopausal U.S. women. The researchers,
who included Lesley Tinker, PhD, of Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research
Center, split the women into two groups.
One group was assigned to cut their dietary fat to 20% of their daily
calories, down from about 38% at the study's start. Women in that group also
got intensive nutritional and behavioral counseling and regular group meetings
to help them meet the low-fat goal.