Eating foods with certain ingredients, including various vitamins and fiber, can significantly reduce the risk of diabetes.
A new study, including experts from the University of Duhok (UOD) in Iraq, has examined the connection between the nutrients consumed and the prevention and treatment of diabetes. The results can be read in the specialist journal “BMC Endocrine Disorders”.
Role of diet in diabetes
Diet has been proven to play an important role in the prevention and treatment of diabetes, but so far it has remained unclear in many places what effect the nutrients consumed actually have.
In the current study, the researchers examined possible connections between diabetes and nutrient intake on 225 people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes and 225 healthy participants as a control group. According to the team, the average age of the participants was just under 40 years.
Dietary patterns and diabetes risk determined
Questionnaires were used to determine the nutrient intake from the food of all participants. This data was then used to analyze which nutrient patterns the participants consumed. To estimate the risk of type 2 diabetes, the experts carried out a logistic regression analysis.
The researchers were able to identify three main nutrient patterns that the participants consumed. The first nutrient pattern was characterized by high intakes of sucrose, animal protein, vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B12, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and potassium.
The second dietary pattern included more fiber, vegetable protein, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B5, copper and magnesium. The third nutrient pattern identified by the experts was characterized by higher amounts of fiber, vegetable protein, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin C, calcium and potassium.
These nutrients protect against diabetes
It was found that participants in the highest tertile of the third nutrient pattern had a significantly lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people in the lowest tertile of the third nutrient pattern, even after taking possible confounding factors into account, according to the research team.
A diet that contains vegetable protein, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B2, potassium and calcium is associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Another recent study also confirms that the consumption of vegetable protein is particularly beneficial for diabetics. It found that a plant-based diet significantly reduces the risk of diabetes.
Why are plant-based foods so healthy?
Plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds are rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. In addition, plant-based foods often contain increased amounts of fiber and only a few saturated fatty acids and cholesterol.
Many of the nutrients that the new study suggests are associated with better protection against diabetes are found in plant-based foods. A plant-based diet can therefore be an easy-to-implement option for getting the right nutrients to protect against diabetes. (as)