How can I change my diet to lower diabetes risk?

By now it’s no surprise that diabetes and diet are closely related. These three simple diet tweaks may help you dodge diabetes: Eat more leafy greens, choose fat-free yogurt, and add nuts and seeds to your diet. Each of these changes may help lower your risk of diabetes anywhere from 10 to 20 percent.

The greens scene—In a study, eating just one serving per day decreased diabetes risk by almost 10 percent. So stock up on spinach, arugula, romaine, and kale.

Fat-free-for-all—If there’s a link between diabetes and diet, then keeping your overall fat intake to under 30 percent of your total daily calories will do your pancreas big favors. According to research, it helps improve pancreatic function, and because the pancreas produces insulin, good pancreatic function is key to controlling diabetes risk.

Nuts about seeds—In a study, middle-aged and older adults who consumed the most alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)—a beneficial fat found in walnuts and flaxseeds—lowered their risk of developing diabetes by 20 percent. In animal studies, higher levels of ALA have also been linked to improved insulin sensitivity and better regulation of glucose levels.

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To lower your diabetes risk with your diet, start by eating more vegetables (specifically colorful ones) and fewer carbohydrates. Limit carbohydrate-rich foods like breads, pasta, potatoes and tortillas. Avoid chips and sugary foods such as cookies, juice, soda and sports drinks. If you are overweight, see your doctor and set weight loss goals. Reduce portion sizes and have 2/3 of your plate be colorful vegetables.

Reducing fried, fatty foods and sugar can reduce your risk of diabetes. A healthy diet, rich in fruits and veggies, can prevent disease.

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