At risk for type 2 diabetes? Snacking on sardines may prevent onset

If you know based on your family medical history that you’re at risk for type 2 diabetes, then there’s one fish in particular that you should consider adding to your diet—sardines. According to new research published in Clinical Nutrition, this little oily fish may prevent you from developing this type of diabetes, and on top of that is already a great source of omega-3s, calcium, and more health-boosting nutrients.

Researchers from the Open University of Catalonia in Spain gathered 152 participants diagnosed with prediabetes, and then provided them with a nutrition plan that would help lower their risk of onset.

One group had 200 grams of sardines (two cans worth) per week added to their nutrition plan. This group was urged to incorporate the fish into provided recipes and to eat the sardines whole to reap all their benefits.

At the beginning of the study, 37 percent of the sardine-eating group were considered high-risk for developing diabetes. After one year, the percentage dropped significantly; only eight percent were left at the high-risk status. The non-sardine group didn’t experience such a drop. They started at 27 percent and by the end of the year were at 22 percent.

The sardine-eaters also experienced improvements in their cholesterol levels, blood pressure, insulin resistance, and even in hormones that help the body break down sugar more efficiently.

Diana Diaz Rizzolo, Ph.D., the study’s lead researcher, says “Not only are sardines reasonably priced and easy to find, but they are safe and help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. It is easy to recommend this food during medical checkups, and it is widely accepted by the population.”

If sardines have never appealed to you and you need a little more convincing, then consider that these fish are also a sustainable seafood choice, can help with period cramps, boost vascular health, and are quite a tasty addition to toss into a salad, on toast, or in various pasta dishes.

For more foods that may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, check this out.

Study source: Clinical Nutrition

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