Dr David Lloyd discusses using diabetes drug for anti-aging
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The relevance of diet in managing diabetes is indisputable. But unfortunately, no single food is able to offer the full range of nutritional and health benefits required for optimal health. Yet some scientific studies have linked specific foods to lower blood sugar levels including one powerful seed easily incorporated into your diet.
For those living with type 2 diabetes, it’s important to focus on foods that can help you maintain a healthy weight, improve blood sugar control and prevent complications such as cardiovascular disease.
Chia seeds are considered a superfood, packed with important nutrients and antioxidants, these tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia hispanica can offer a variety of health benefits.
Studies have found that by including chia seeds in your daily diet it may help you keep blood sugar levels well-controlled.
One study conducted on 15 healthy men, who were randomised to receive a 50-gram glucose test.
The subjects were given food items that were supplemented either with 25 grams of ground Salba-chia or 31.5 grams of flax on three separate occasions.
“Blood glucose samples and satiety ratings were collected at fasting and over two hours post-prandially,” noted the researchers.
“Both seeds appear to differentially alter carbohydrate metabolism and satiety.”
Findings revealed chia seeds demonstrated stronger effects, reducing blood glucose by 39 percent, which was significantly greater than those seen with flax.
Many further studies have highlighted how the soluble fibre content of chia may help lower harmful cholesterol by binding to lipids in the digestive tract and dragging them out of the body.
This is significant for diabetics because high levels of cholesterol predispose individuals to the condition.
Another study performed in Canada, researchers compared the weight loss effects of two different calorie-restricted diets: one including 30g of chia seeds per day and another supplemented daily with 36g of oat, which served as the control group.
They assigned 58 participants to either one of the diets and had them consult with a dietitian at two weeks and then every six weeks for six months, as well as keep food records to ensure compliance.
After six months, participants in the chia seed group exhibited greater improvements in the levels of an inflammatory marker called C-reactive protein, body weight, and waist circumference with lowered blood sugar levels.
Chia seeds may also help you lose weight as it is high in fibre, which reduces hunger and makes you feel full for a longer period.
A small, controlled study done in 2017, for instance, found that overweight diabetics who included chia seeds in their diet for six months lost more weight than those who ate an oat bran alternative.
There are a number of ways you can add these powerful seeds into your daily life and these include:
- Chia salads
- Chia pudding
- Chia smoothies
- Chia water.
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