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Can Legumes Lower Your Diabetes Risk?

A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down.  But can a handful of peanuts help your diabetes risk go down?  The answer is a resounding yes according to researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Shanghai Cancer Institute.

They followed the dietary habits of 64,227 middle-aged Chinese women with no previous history of diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer for 5 years.  During the study period, those women who had the highest intake of legumes had a 38% reduction in their risk of developing type-2 diabetes.  Higher intake of soybeans had an even greater effect, reducing the risk by 47%.

The results of the study were published in the January 2008 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

You should be aware that many commercial brands of nuts can contain alarming amounts of salt. Furthermore, nuts can be highly caloric so please be careful not to eat too many.  Any health benefits could quickly be offset by the high sodium and calories associated with over-indulging.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: January 2008, Volume 87, Number 1, Pages 162-167. "Legume and soy food intake and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in the Shanghai Women's Health Study"; Authors: Villegas R, Gao YT, Yang G, Li HL, Elasy TA, Zheng W, Shu XO.
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