Small Dietary Changes to Reduce Serious Disease Risks in Diabetics

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Small Dietary Changes to Reduce Serious Disease Risks in DiabeticsI always like to provide the most recent evidence regarding how you can improve your own health status. Health tips that involve small changes are usually a great place for you to start to become a healthier person.

In my opinion, even small changes to your diet can often make a large impact on certain factors that could put you at greater risk for the development of disease or help you manage a specific disease.

Type 2 diabetes is a case in point. Did you know that you can reduce your risk of serious heart disease if you have diabetes just by changing your diet? Yes, it’s true that even some small changes in your present diet can affect those at risk of developing more serious complications due to type 2 diabetes.

Some recent evidence has indicated that those people presently suffering from type 2 diabetes who change their diet by adding canola oil and switching to foods lower on the glycemic index (GI) can reduce their risk of experiencing heart disease. Lower GI foods do not have a tendency to raise blood sugar by very much. These low GI foods include whole grains, legumes, lean proteins, and vegetables.

In a short, three-month study, participants who consumed the low GI diet supplemented with canola oil experienced better control over their blood sugar and had a lower risk of developing heart disease compared to a similar group of participants who ate a control diet composed of whole grains.

In general terms, the subjects who had the worst control of their blood sugar and had the highest risks for heart disease experienced the greatest degree of benefit from the test diet combined with the canola oil. So the participants who had the highest degree of insulin resistance, the largest waist sizes, the highest blood pressure, and the highest levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol tended to benefit the greatest over the three-month study period.

The canola oil was given to the participants every day, which amounted to approximately one ounce per day. Even this relatively small serving of canola oil, which is high in monounsaturated fat, improved the metabolic profiles of the study participants in a very positive manner. Much like olive oil, canola oil contains the omega-9 family of fats, the consumption of which a lower risk of cardiovascular disease is attributed to.

The other important findings in this short study were that the participants who consumed the test diet lost an average of 2.1 kilograms (about 4.63 pounds) in three months. In addition, their levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides dropped significantly. Those who experienced the greatest improvements in their metabolic profiles had the highest blood pressure and the worst risk profiles at the beginning of the three-month trial.

The takeaway message here is that even small changes to your diet over a short time can be quite significant in the reduction of important risk factors for more serious diseases. Just think of how making small changes to your diet could influence your future risks if you don’t have type 2 diabetes and are currently otherwise healthy.

Sources for Today’s Article:
Busko, M., “Canola Oil, Low-GI Diet May Help Heart Health in Diabetes,” Medscape web site, June 26, 2014; http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/827421.
Jenkins, D., et al., “Effect of Lowering the Glycemic Load With Canola Oil on Glycemic Control and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” Diabetes Care July 2014; 37(7): 1806–1814.




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Dr. K.J. McLaughlin, BPE, CSCS, MASc. DC

About the Author, Browse K.J.'s Articles

Dr. K.J.McLaughlin is a chiropractor with 27 years of clinical experience. In addition, he has degrees in physical education, nutrition and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist with an interest in anti-aging medicine. He has also spent time studying health promotion and the effect that health education has upon health outcomes. Dr. McLaughlin has a diverse professional background which has involved clinical management, teaching, health promotion and health coaching and brings a unique passion to his work.