November is American Diabetes Month, which brings our attention to Type 2 diabetes -- a devastating disease that is rising exponentially. Even children are now being diagnosed with what was thought to be only an "adult disease".
For those of us who want to prevent diabetes, how can we eat in a way cut the risk and also whittle our middle? What if there were just a few easy superfoods that we can incorporate each day to not only drastically reduce our risk of diabetes, but shrink our waistline in the process? The good news is these foods do exist- and they even taste great!
In my newly released book, Belly Fat Diet for Dummies, I focus on specific foods, seasonings, and spices that have been shown in recent research to target the most dangerous of all fats -- belly fat. The great news is that many of these superfoods not only burn up stubborn belly fat, they can actually help decrease insulin-resistance and lower blood sugar, helping to prevent and control diabetes!
Start scribbling your grocery list with these superfoods that help flatten your belly and control blood sugar.
A University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center study found that when rats consumed just 2% of their calories from blueberries over a 90-day period, they significantly reduced their percentage of belly fat! And this tasty fruit has also been shown to reduce food cravings. This same study also showed a significant increase in insulin sensitivity as well as a decrease in triglyceride levels.
Beans are another great source, especially cannellini beans, since these contain one of the highest levels of resistance-starch (a fiber that resists digestion). This means your body has to work harder, and in turn burn more calories, to digest these, helping promote weight loss. In addition, the low glycemic index of these beans means they have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. Add these into meals in replacement of higher glycemic index foods, like white rice, for better blood sugar control.
Out of all nuts, walnuts may just be the most effective at burning up belly fat and controlling diabetes. Walnuts are one of the best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are not only strong anti-inflammatory nutrients, but they also help to regulate stress hormones such as cortisol. When stress hormones are elevated in your body, it causes your body to store more fat- specifically belly fat. Consuming a high level of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet can help prevent stress hormones from peaking, meaning less of these hormones are circulating in your body, and therefore you start to store less belly fat. In addition, walnuts can have a significant impact on reducing blood sugar. A recent study found that consuming nuts daily reduced A1c levels by as much as 8%. Another study found that walnuts helped to reduce fasting insulin levels. So sprinkle walnuts onto your salads, yogurt, or just snack on a handful a day for a smaller waist and improved blood sugar control.
If you like spicy foods, stock up on hot peppers! Rich in capsaicin, these peppers have a thermogenic effect on the body, boosting metabolism and calorie burn, helping to shed unwanted pounds, especially around the midsection. But that's not their only benefit! A study found that consuming an increased amount of capsaicin for 10 weeks lowered obesity-induced insulin resistance in mice. So add these to everything from salads to chili. You can even use the ground or flaked form to season foods.
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