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Berry Good for Diabetes

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Benefits for those with type II DM

Blueberries are perfect on their own but also versatile enough to be added to breakfast cereal, salads and other dishes. They also provide an arsenal of nutrition benefits, from supporting brain health and playing a role in keeping blood pressure in check to potentially improving bone massOriginal research published in Current Developments in Nutrition, looks into the potential health effects of blueberries in those with type 2 diabetes. 

In this study, researchers hypothesized the equivalent of ½ cup portion of blueberries twice a day could have positive effects on blood sugar levels, lipids, blood pressure and inflammation. 

They organized a random, double blind study with 52 male veterans between 51-75 years old to find out more.  Participants consumed either placebo or 11g freeze dried blueberries (about ½ cup fresh) with morning and evening meals for 8 weeks.  During that time measurements including cholesterol, CRP (a measure of inflammation), blood pressure and weight were monitored and did not have significant changes.  However, triglycerides were significantly lower (160.6 mg/dL vs 183.9mg/dL)! Think of these as unused calories from carbohydrates in the blood and if elevated could point to increased risk for heart disease.  Two measures of long-term blood sugar control hemoglobin A1c and fructosamine were also lower after 8 weeks. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes.  About 90% have type 2 diabetes which is when the body is no longer able to absorb insulin.  Being overweight, underactive and having high triglycerides often contribute to this condition.  Luckily these three things can be changed with a little effort. 

At only 80 calories per cup, two ½ cup servings of blueberries is an acceptable amount of fruit for someone with diabetes to consume.  Try them tonight in our Summer Peach & Blueberry Salad

Published July 2020

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