In observance of the National Diabetes Month in the US, we bring you the latest diabetes updates.
Fruit and vegetable intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis
The majority of nutritional studies on diabetes focus on carbs and carb intake. Where fruit and vegetables come in? Does eating fruit and vegetables really help in managing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)? This is the question that British researchers wanted to answer. So they conducted a review of studies on the benefits of diet rich fruit and vegetables for people with diabetes. Their findings show that there was no marked benefit from increased fruit and veggie intake. However, looking at the different types of vegetables, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and lettuce are actually good diabetes fighter. The study concluded:
Increasing daily intake of green leafy vegetables could significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and should be investigated further.
The China Da Qing Diabetes Prevention Outcome Study
What about diet plus exercise? Chinese researchers investigated how 3 types of lifestyle intervention perform in managing diabetes-associated microvascular complications such as retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy. The interventions consisted of diet, exercise, and diet plus exercise and lasted for 6 years. The patients were followed up for up to 20 years. The study results showed:
“Lifestyle intervention for 6 years in IGT was associated with a 47% reduction in the incidence of severe, vision-threatening retinopathy over a 20 year interval, primarily due to the reduced incidence of diabetes in the intervention group.”
Long-term effects of a lifestyle intervention on weight and cardiovascular risk factors in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus: four-year results of the Look AHEAD trial
The Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) is a large, long-term study that investigated the long-term effects of lifestyle approaches on T2DM. The study compared the effect of 4 years of intensive lifestyle intervention (dietary change and physical exercise) vs. standard diabetes care. The results showed that those who underwent lifestyle change lost more weight, and had better improvements in blood glucose levels, blood pressure and lipids than those who had standard treatment. the authors concluded:
“Intensive lifestyle intervention can produce sustained weight loss and improvements in fitness, glycemic control, and CVD risk factors in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Whether these differences in risk factors translate to reduction in CVD events will ultimately be addressed by the Look AHEAD trial.”