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Fresh produce has place in diabetes toolkit


Fruits and vegetables are a valuable part of a healthy diet. The standard for how much produce should be on your plate may be going up again. A study release this week encourages seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day instead of five.

The United Kingdom researchers found that people who eat up to seven servings of fruit and vegetables a day can cut their risk of preventable death by 42 percent. They also concluded and that vegetables may be more important than fruit to overall health.

The findings:

  • The participants ate an average of 3.8 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. Older, non-smoking women tended to eat more than other demographic groups. Produce consumption was also linked to participants’ body mass indexes; those who ate more fruit and vegetables tended to have a lower BMI.
  • The researchers found that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables can be protective against cancer, heart disease and all other causes of death. Eating at least seven servings was best, but each serving increase was associated with a lower risk of death from preventative conditions.

This is also good news for people living with diabetes. One can control blood sugar and take advance of vegetables and fruit. The American Diabetes Association encourages people with diabetes to focus on non-starchy vegetables and don’t hold back.

Vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber. Fiber is the part of produce that is hard to digest. Foods high in fiber take longer to digest. This gives a slower effect on blood glucose.


The ADA Recommendations:

  • The best choices are fresh, frozen and canned vegetables and vegetable juices without added sodium
  • If using canned or frozen vegetables, look for ones that say low sodium or no salt added on the label.
  • As a general rule, frozen or canned vegetables in sauces are higher in both fat and sodium.
  • If using canned vegetables with sodium, drain the vegetables and rinse with water. Then cook the rinsed vegetables in fresh water. This will cut back on how much sodium is left on the vegetables.

For more, visit:

CNN: Study: Eat 7 servings of fruit, veggies daily
ADA:  Making healthy food choices: Non-starch vegetables

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