A groundbreaking study has found that a diet rich in whole grains, fiber, fish and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) can significantly reduce the risk of death in people with type 2 diabetes.
This discovery is particularly important given the increased risk of circulatory disease, dementia, cancer and bone fractures faced by people with type 2 diabetes.
Important nutritional components to reduce the risk of mortality
Whole grains and fiber: Adding just one serving (20 g/day) of whole grains, found in foods such as brown bread, rice or breakfast cereals, can reduce the risk of death by about 16%.
Likewise, increasing fiber intake by 5g per day (equivalent to one medium pear or two grated wheat) can reduce the risk of mortality by 14%.
Fish and omega-3 fatty acids: Eating an extra serving of fish per week can reduce the risk of death by 5%.
Additionally, each 0.1 g per day increase in intake of omega-3 PUFAs from fish, nuts, flaxseeds, or leafy vegetables is associated with a 13% reduction in mortality risk.
Other Beneficial Diet Changes
Vegetables and plant proteins: A daily increase in vegetable consumption by 100g and plant protein intake by 10g (from sources such as nuts, tofu, beans, lentils and peas) can result in a 12% and 9% lower risk of death, respectively.
Eggs and dietary cholesterol: In contrast, higher intake of eggs and dietary cholesterol is associated with increased mortality risk. For example, eating two medium-sized eggs per week (increasing egg intake by 10 g/day) can result in a 5% higher risk of death.
Study methodology and implications
The research included a systematic review of 107 studies that focused on dietary factors and mortality risk in adults with type 2 diabetes.
A total of 72 studies were included in the meta-analysis, covering an average follow-up period of 10 years. The results highlight the importance of diet in treating type 2 diabetes, not only for blood sugar control but also for overall health and longevity.
The study, presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), highlights the crucial role of nutrition in extending the lifespan of people with type 2 diabetes.
By focusing on nutrient-dense foods and reducing their intake of eggs and dietary cholesterol, people with type 2 diabetes can significantly reduce their risk of premature death.
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