Diabetes: Three fruits with ‘anti-diabetes’ effects

Diabetes type 2: Dr Zoe Williams discusses high blood sugar risks

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It’s well-known that obesity can help to bring on diabetes in many cases. It’s thought to account for roughly 80 percent of the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Luckily, this means that lifestyle changes that reduce obesity may also reduce the effects of the condition. Although there is no one activity or food that can achieve the goal of thwarting diabetes, there is research suggesting certain foods can help.

Diabetes occurs when your level of blood sugar becomes too high due to problems with either not producing or responding to the hormone insulin.

One of the most recommended ways to put diabetes into remission is to lose weight.

Diabetes UK suggests losing 15 kilograms of weight to help put diabetes into remission.

Some of the strongest ways to lose weight are to go on a low-carb or Mediterranean diet – both of which have been shown to improve weight management.

But whatever diet is chosen, there’s three specific foods you may want to include: peaches, plums and nectarines.

The three stone fruits have been shown to “potentially fight” metabolic syndrome – a deadly mix of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

A study published by Texas A&M University found that the stone fruits include chemical compounds that simultaneously work against the three parts of metabolic syndrome.

The compounds, known as phenolic compounds, work within specific cells around the body such as those covering the inside of your blood vessels, regulating the production of certain proteins.

One other benefit of the fruits is that they can reduce the processing of “bad” cholesterol – which is responsible for heart disease.

Food scientist Doctor Luis Cisneros-Zevallos said of the 2012 research: “Our studies have shown that stone fruits – peaches, plums and nectarines – have bioactive compounds that can potentially fight the syndrome.

“Our work indicates that phenolic compounds present in these fruits have anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties in different cell lines and may also reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol LDL which is associated with cardiovascular disease.”

Following the publication of this research, further studies have supported its conclusions. One study published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition found that peach fruit was able to inhibit an enzyme called alpha amylase that’s linked to type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Zevallos, the author of the 2012 study, added: “Each of these stone fruits contain similar phenolic groups but in differing proportions so all of them are a good source of health promoting compounds and may complement each other.”

How to put your diabetes into remission (safely)

Remission is defined strictly as blood sugar levels lower than the diabetic range.

But these levels should be maintained without the need to take any diabetes medication, explains Diabetes UK.

Specifically, in the long term your HbA1c – the measure of your glucose levels – should remain less than six and a half percent for at least six months.

Losing 15kg is one of the best ways to do this, the health body explains. However, this should be done safely.

Diabetes UK explains: “If you do want to start losing weight quickly to work towards remission, it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional before you begin, to make sure it’s right for you.

“Also, you may need to reduce or stop any medications – insulin or sulphonylurea, for example – before you begin losing weight.

“Rapid weight loss is not advised if you are a healthy weight, under 18, pregnant, breastfeeding or have ever been diagnosed with an eating disorder.”

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