Friday, December 01, 2006

Eating for Your Genes

African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics can reduce their risk of developing diabetes by a whopping 46% just by making some easy changes in their eating habits, according to Harvard researchers who followed more than 78,000 women for 20 years. That's a big health payoff: These groups tend to have a much higher risk of the disease than Caucasians (who get only a 23% reduction in risk by munching wisely).

One of the most crucial shifts: favoring low-glycemic foods — which studies show help stabilize your blood sugar. Try these simple strategies:

  • Swap sugary drinks, such as soda and bottled sweetened teas, for water and freshly brewed unsweetened teas.
  • Ditch refined grains, like white rice, for fiber-rich whole grains, like brown rice or quinoa.
  • Pass on foods that contain saturated fats or trans fats; instead pick foods rich in polyunsaturated fats, including fish and nuts.
  • Keep meat choices lean, and incorporate other sources of protein into your diet, too. Try chickpeas and kidney and black beans.

For more information on the glycemic index, visit

By: Marianne McGinnis, Prevention, Dec2006


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