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type 2 diabetes

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Overweight Boys Can Lower Risk of Diabetes

Childhood overweight at age 7 raises diabetes risk if it persists into puberty.

A study of about 63,000 Danish boys measured their BMI at ages 7 and 13. By the time they reached age 30, 11% had developed type 2 diabetes. When overweight boys lost weight between ages 7 and 13 and maintained healthy weight into early adulthood, their risk was very similar to those who were never overweight

PositiveTip: It is never too early to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight!

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Choose Whole Fruits Over Fruit Juices

Whole fruits are better at cutting risk of type-2 diabetes.

Researchers analyzed the eating habits of 187,000 Americans. They found eating whole fruits significantly reduced the risk of type-2 diabetes, while exclusive fruit juice consumption may slightly increase your risk. The fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals in fruit may all contribute to reduced risk. Commercial juicing often strips out these components, leaving sweet liquids that can elevate blood sugar and insulin levels. Blueberries, grapes, raisins, apples and pears were some of the best fruits.

PositiveTip: Swap out fruit juice for 3 daily servings of whole fruit.

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Diabetes Risk and Red Meat

Increasing intake of red meat associated with type 2 diabetes.

Increasing red meat consumption may be associated with the development of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Researchers analyzed data from 149,000 individuals with up to 20 years follow-up. Red meat consumption was analyzed every 4 years by validated food frequency questionnaires. Those who increased their red meat consumption by one-half serving per day experienced a 48% higher risk of developing T2DM compared to those who did not change their consumption. This finding was independent of weight gain.

PositiveTip: Avoid increasing intake of red meat to reduce risk of T2DM--or all together.

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Whole Fruit Appears to Protect Against Diabetes

Fruit juices, instead of whole fruit, increased the risk of type 2 diabetes.

In a longitudinal observation study researchers found eating more fruit, especially apples, blueberries and grapes, lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes. Each 3 additional servings of whole fruit reduced the diabetes risk by a significant 2%. However, the same amount of fruit juice actually raised the risk by 8%. Research is ongoing to determine the causes behind these findings.

PositiveTip: Eat more whole fruit, including apples, blueberries and grapes--especially if they are substitutes for unhealthy foods!

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Is it the Sugar?

Sugar consumption could be a primary cause of type 2 diabetes.

Experimental and observational studies link sugar intake with the development of type 2 diabetes. Using econometric models of data from 175 countries, researchers have found that a 150 kcal/person/day increase in sugar availability (approximately 1 can of soda daily) increases the prevalence of diabetes by 1.1% (p = <0.001>) after controlling for a number of factors, including obesity and sedentary living. The authors state further testing is needed.

PositiveTip: Refined sugar consumption should be limited to help maintain good health and prevent disease.

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Brown Rice Better

Each daily serving of white rice is associated with 11% increased risk of diabetes.

White rice is the primary type of rice eaten around the world. Asian populations consume 3-4 or more servings per day, while Western populations eat only 1-2 servings or less daily. A meta-analysis that included over 350,000 participants has shown that a high intake of white rice may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by a significant 55% in Asians. It is important to note this association does not prove it causes diabetes.

PositiveTip: Next time you eat rice, enjoy the goodness of whole-grain brown rice--or at try mixing brown and white rice together.

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Diabetes and Red Meat Consumption

Just one serving of red meat daily increases type II diabetes risk by almost 20%.

In the largest study of its kind (204,157 participants followed for 20+ years), Harvard University researchers have found that using whole grains, nuts or low-fat dairy such as yogurt to replace one daily serving of red meat can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 16-35%. Eating only 4 ounces of red meat per day raised the risk by 19%. Using processed meats like hot dog or sausage increased the risk by 51%.

PositiveTip: Sugary sweets and sodas are not the only thing that increases the risk of diabetes--limit your red meat consumption to lower your risk.

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Soluble Fiber and Exercise Appears to Help Lessen Belly Fat Accumulation

Soluble fiber and exercise appears to slow belly fat accumulation

Belly fat or visceral fat increases the risk of future impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes.  Studying African and Hispanic Americans researchers found that for every 10 grams of soluble fiber eaten daily, there was a decrease in visceral fat of 3.7% per five years while moderate exercise reduced the rate of visceral fat accumulation by 7.4% and subcutaneous fat by 3.6%.  

PositiveTip:  Increase your soluble fiber intakes by eating more fruits, vegetables, and legumes--and when you exercise wear a pedometer and aim for 10,000 per day.