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The Link Between Diabetes and Fruit & Vegetable Consumption

There are many healthy reasons to eat more fruits and vegetables, and now there’s yet another – a lower risk of diabetes.

According to an 11-year study conducted by Andrew J. Cooper, M.Phil., of Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, U.K., eating more vegetables and a greater variety of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. The study was published online recently in Diabetes Care, the journal of The American Diabetes Association.

The study measured the incidence of type 2 diabetes in correlation with the amount and type of fruits and vegetables eaten by the 3,704 participants, who kept seven-day food journals. When comparing the journals, the researchers found that people who ate a greater quantity of vegetables – but not fruit – was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. However, a greater diversity of both vegetables and fruit was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

So how do you get more servings of vegetables and a greater variety of veggies and fruits into your diet? Here are some ideas.

  • Set a goal of eating at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day – a serving is only half a cup.
  • Eat around the rainbow – consume as many different colors of fruits and vegetables as you can every day.
  • Enjoy a piece of fruit or a fruit salad with breakfast.
  • Have fruit instead of candy or cookies between meals — your waistline with thank you, as well!
  • Cut veggies into crudités and place in Ziploc bags to grab when you are hungry between meals. Use bean dip or low-fat ranch dressing for dip.
  • Start lunch or dinner with a salad or vegetable soup – you’ll eat less during the rest of the meal.
  • Plant a vegetable garden – nothing tastes better than homegrown veggies!
  • Try combining different vegetables and fruits in your juicer or buy the commercial juices – but watch out for additives such as salt and sugar!

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