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Consuming More Antioxidants May Help Ward Off Diabetes

Higher consumption of antioxidants in the everyday diet may help lower the rate of diabetes. This was the conclusion of a study conducted by University of Athens researchers.

Diabetes is projected to become an epidemic in America over the next 10-20 years due to population growth, aging, unhealthy diets, obesity and sedentary lifestyles. This fact prompted the researchers to conduct a study on the relationship between oxidative stress and diabetes.

Their findings were published in the February 2010 issue of the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease.

For the study, the researchers chose a random sub-sample from the ATTICA study, which documented extensive data on the dietary habits of the participants. The chosen participants consisted of 551 men and 467 women from throughout the Attica region in Greece.

The researchers found that higher levels of antioxidant consumption in the everyday diet resulted in lower levels of glycemic indices regardless of age, gender or physical activity levels. These decreases were observed for healthy individuals, pre-diabetics and diabetics but not among obese individuals.

The glycemic index measures how fast a food is likely to raise your blood sugar level. Eating more low glycemic index foods, such as apples, muesli, broccoli and yogurt, helps reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and is key to sustainable weight loss.

Consuming more foods and drinks high in antioxidants such as fruits, vegetables legumes, nuts, spices, wine and tea can provide a lengthy list of health benefits beyond diabetes prevention. Since antioxidants reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in our bodies, they have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and other diseases.

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