Eating vegetables, but not potatoes, is linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes

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Scientists from the Danish Cancer Society Research Center and elsewhere found eating vegetables, but not potatoes, is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

More than 37 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and approximately 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes.

Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that acts like a key to let blood sugar into the cells in your body for use as energy.

For people who have type 2 diabetes, cells don’t respond normally to insulin; this is called insulin resistance.

Diabetes can be managed by having a healthy lifestyle, such as eating a healthy diet, staying active, and maintaining healthy body weight.

In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the link between the intake of vegetables/ potatoes and incident type 2 diabetes.

They also explored whether the link between vegetable intake and incident type 2 diabetes is changed by people’s body mass index (BMI).

BMI is a value derived from the mass and height of a person.

The BMI is defined as the body mass divided by the square of the body height and is expressed in units of kg/m², resulting from mass in kilograms and height in meters.

The team used data from the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health cohort. Among 54,793 participants, 7,695 cases of type 2 diabetes were recorded during a follow-up of 16 years.

The researchers found participants with the highest vegetable intake had a lower BMI and a 21% lower risk of incident type 2 diabetes compared with those with the lowest intake of vegetables.

In addition, people’s BMI changed the association between vegetable intake and the risk of type 2 diabetes.

People with the highest compared with the lowest (256 vs. 52 g/day) potato intake had a 9% higher risk of type 2 diabetes, but no association was found after accounting for the underlying dietary patterns.

The team also found in the vegetable subclasses, a higher intake of green leafy and cruciferous vegetables was linked to a much lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Based on the findings, the researchers suggest that a higher vegetable, but not a potato, intake might help reduce type 2 diabetes risk, partly by reducing BMI.

The research was published in Diabetes Care and conducted by Pratik Pokharel et al.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about high vitamin D levels linked to lower dementia risk in type 2 diabetes, and this eating habit could help reduce the 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 green tea and coffee could help reduce death risk in type 2 diabetes.

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