Eating soy foods and nuts may help reduce diabetes risk during pregnancy

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Scientists from Sichuan University found that eating soy foods and nuts may help reduce the risk of diabetes during pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can cause health problems in both mother and baby.

Gestational diabetes often has no symptoms, or they may be mild, such as being thirstier than normal or having to urinate more often.

Gestational diabetes is sometimes related to the hormonal changes of pregnancy that make the body less able to use insulin. Genes and extra weight may also play a role.

Managing gestational diabetes includes following a healthy eating plan and being physically active.

Women can lower their chance of getting gestational diabetes by losing extra weight before they get pregnant if they are overweight.

Being physically active before and during pregnancy also may help prevent gestational diabetes.

In the study, researchers aimed to examine the link between soy foods and nuts intake during early pregnancy with the risk of gestational diabetes.

Soy-rich foods may improve heart health and lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels.

Nuts are a good source of an amino acid called L-arginine, which can help maintain healthy blood vessels and decrease the risk of blood clots.

Some nuts, including walnuts and cashews, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce inflammation and abnormal heart rhythms.

This study was conducted in Southwest China. The team examined the dietary information of nearly 1500 pregnant women through 3-day 24-h dietary recalls at 6-14 gestational weeks.

Gestational diabetes was tested with the 75-g, 2-h oral glucose tolerance test at 24-28 gestational weeks.

Among the 1495 pregnant women, 529 were diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

The researchers found that, compared with pregnant women who did not eat soy foods, the highest soy food intake was linked to a decrease in the risk of gestational diabetes.

Similarly, compared with pregnant women who did not eat nuts, there was a link between a higher intake of nuts and a lower risk of gestational diabetes.

Based on the findings, the team suggests that the intake of soy foods and nuts is both associated with the risk of gestational diabetes during early pregnancy.

The research was published in The Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine and conducted by Xinxin Pang et al.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies that eating more eggs is linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, and people with a high intake of linoleic acid have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about unhealthy plant-based diets linked to metabolic syndrome, and results showing Mediterranean diet could help reduce the diabetes risk by 30%.

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