In a new study, scientists found eating a diet high in whole grains, fiber, fish and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may reduce the risk of dying from all causes in adults with type 2 diabetes.
People with type 2 diabetes are more prone to circulatory diseases, dementia, cancer, and bone fractures.
And despite an increasing number of effective drugs, lifestyle modifications—such as exercise and diet—remain a cornerstone of treatment.
In the study, the team did a systematic review of 107 studies investigating any dietary factors and the risk of death from all causes in adults (aged 18 or older) with type 2 diabetes.
Overall, 72 studies were included in 45 meta-analyses comparing the effects of high versus low intake and evaluating the link between dietary factors and death from any cause, over an average of 10 years.
The team found that there was moderate certainty of the evidence of a protective association between the intake of whole grain, fiber, fish, n-3 PUFAs and death from all causes.
Adding one serving (20 g/day) of whole grain from foods such as brown bread and rice or breakfast cereals was linked to about a 16% reduction.
Each serving per week increase in fish consumption was linked to a 5% lower risk of death.
Similarly, an additional 5 g per day intake of dietary fiber (equivalent to a medium pear or two shredded wheat) and 0.1 g per day increase in n-3 PUFAs was linked to a reduced risk of death from all causes—14% and 13% lower, respectively.
The body does not produce n-3 fatty acids naturally, so good sources include fish, vegetable oil, nuts (especially walnuts), flax seeds and flaxseed oil, and leafy vegetables.
Evidence suggests that eating large amounts of vegetables and plant protein may be beneficial.
A daily increase of 100 g of vegetables and 10 g of plant proteins such as nuts, tofu, beans, lentils and peas were linked to a 12% and 9% lower risk of death, respectively.
The team says possible beneficial effects of these foods include their link with favorable changes in blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels and anti-inflammatory effects, which might help to lower the risk of comorbidities such as heart disease and cancer.
In contrast, a higher intake of eggs and dietary cholesterol was linked to an increased risk of death from any cause—with a 10 g per day increase in egg intake (equivalent to two medium eggs per week) was linked to a 5% greater risk of death, while adding 300 mg of dietary cholesterol per day was linked with a 19% increase.
For more information about COVID, please see recent studies about people who are more likely to get severe COVID-19 after vaccination, and results showing this existing drug can prevent COVID death.
The study was conducted by Dr. Janett Barbaresko et al and presented at this year’s European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting.
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