To Your Health
April, 2011 (Vol. 05, Issue 04)
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Modifying Diabetes Risk: The Good and the Bad

By Editorial Staff

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that within a mere 40 years, up to one in three U.S. adults will suffer from diabetes, prevention strategies need to begin today.

While maintaining a healthy weight is one important way to reduce your risk, pursuing a healthy diet is equally vital. After all, on the rare chance your body-mass index is within normal limits, despite eating a diet high in sugar, processed foods and saturated fat, diabetes could still be in your immediate (and long-term) future.

Two recent studies support the role diet plays in the development of diabetes, and it's a simple equation: higher consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages = higher risk of diabetes; higher consumption of leafy green vegetables = lower risk of diabetes.

soda and vagetable - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark In one study, published in the research journal Diabetes Care, researchers found that people who consumed the most sugar-sweetened beverages (soft drinks, fruit drinks, iced tea, and energy and vitamin-water drinks) had a 26 percent greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to people who drank the least (none or less than one serving per month compared to one to two servings daily by the high-consumption group). In the second study, this one published in the British Medical Journal, researchers reviewed multiple previous studies that revealed an interesting pattern: higher consumption of leafy green vegetables was associated with a significant (14 percent) reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Talk to your doctor about your diabetes risk and prevention steps you can take.