Transcript: Preventing Prediabetes By Eating More
Studies like this show that those who eat the most legumes appear to only have a fraction of the risk for a type of prediabetes known as metabolic syndrome. Those that ate three or more servings of beans a week only had about a quarter of the odds of the disease, compared to those who had one or less.
Yes, bean consumption is associated with lower body weight, a slimmer waist, less obesity and blood pressure in population studies, but whether the association of bean consumption with healthier body weight and risk factors of the metabolic syndrome is due to physiological effects of the beans themselves or simply an indicator of a healthy lifestyle is uncertain. Anyone smart enough to eat beans may be smart enough to eat all sorts of other healthy foods, so maybe bean consumption is just a marker for a healthy diet. Let’s put it to the test.
Reducing belly fat may be the best way to treat metabolic syndrome and reduce the risk of prediabetes turning into full-blown diabetes. Energy restriction has been the cornerstone of most weight-loss strategies, however, evidence suggests that the majority of individuals who lose weight by calorie-cutting, regain it during subsequent months or years. Starving ourselves almost never works long-term. Thus, it is important to identify foods that can be easily incorporated into the diet and spontaneously lead to the attainment and maintenance of a healthy body weight and improved metabolic control. So for the first time ever, they did a head to head test. Beans versus caloric restriction. The bean group was asked to eat five cups of lentils, chickpeas, split peas, or navy beans a week. So the bean group was asked to eat more food and the cutting calories group was asked to eat less food. And the more food group won! Not only was regular bean consumption as effective as portion control in reducing prediabetes risk factors, like slimming waistlines and better blood sugar control, but the bean diet led to additional benefits beyond just calorie reduction, perhaps due to some functional properties of pulses, which are dried beans and peas. In conclusion, five cups a week of beans, chickpeas, split peas and lentils in an ad libitum diet, meaning they weren’t told to change their diet in any other way, reduced risk factors of metabolic syndrome and these effects were equivalent, and in some instances stronger, than telling people to cut 500 calories from their daily diet. These results are encouraging news for individuals with or at risk for type 2 diabetes since they indicate that simple diet changes, such as the inclusion of beans, can have a positive impact on blood sugar control.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.
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