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Breakfast at home may prevent psychosocial health issues among youth

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  • The debate over the importance of breakfast continues, with many experts insisting that a morning meal is an essential part of a healthy diet.
  • Prior research has suggested that eating breakfast may be especially important for young people, filling them for a day at school.
  • Now, a new Spanish study has found that eating a balanced breakfast at home may lead to better psychosocial health in children and adolescents.
  • The findings suggest that skipping breakfast or eating it away from home was associated with a higher risk of physical and mental health problems.

As the saying often goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) almost 20% of children in the United States do not eat breakfast. What’s more, children from lower-income families and adolescents of any socioeconomic status are more likely to skip breakfast.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children and teens consume breakfast for healthier body weights, improved nutrition, better memory, better test scores, and better attention spans. Breakfast helps to provide a balance of nutrients during the day, which may be harder to achieve if breakfast is missed.

For young people, eating a regular breakfast has been shown to be positively associated with school performance and academic achievement.

Now, a new study involving Spanish children and adolescents has found that eating breakfast at home is also associated with better psychosocial health. The results were recently published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

Psychosocial health is a term used to describe emotional, social, and physical well-being. It includes psychological well-being as well as social and collective well-being.

In the new study, the psychosocial health of 3,772 children and teens in Spain was measured using a Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), with 5 subscales:

  1. emotional problems
  2. conduct problems
  3. hyperactivity
  4. peer problems
  5. prosocial behavior

Participants were scored in each area, and a higher overall score indicated psychosocial problems. Breakfast eating habits, such as location and food choices, were also scored.

dr José Francisco López-Gil, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Spain and lead author of the study, told Medical News Today:

“The association between skipping breakfast and psychosocial health problems has been previously described in the literature in some scientific articles. However, the fact that eating breakfast away from home is associated with greater psychosocial health problems is a novel aspect of our study.”

The researchers divided participants into 3 breakfast categories according to where and whether they ate:

  1. at home
  2. outside of the home
  3. no breakfast

All results were gathered by a parent-led SDQ questionnaire. Of the participants, 98.9% ate breakfast, of whom 95.8% did so at home.

Young people who skipped breakfast or ate breakfast out of the home had higher SDQ scores and a higher likelihood of psychosocial problems.

“The probability of having psychosocial health problems was higher for breakfast status (ie, breakfast or skipping breakfast), followed by breakfast place (ie at home or away from home), than for type of food for breakfast.”

– dr López-Gil, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Castilla-La Mancha and lead author of the study

The study assessed what the young people were eating using guidelines from the Spanish National Health Survey.

The researchers divided foods and drinks into 5 categories:

  1. coffee, milk, tea, chocolate, cocoa, yogurt, etc.
  2. Bread, toast, cookies, pastries, etc.
  3. fruit, juice, or both
  4. eggs, cheese, ham, etc.
  5. other foods

Researchers then looked at the effects the different foods might be having on psychosocial health.

“Not eating certain food groups, such as dairy or cereals, was associated with greater psychosocial health problems, while not eating others (eg, processed meat) was associated with lower psychosocial problems,” Dr. López-Gil said.

“Our results suggest the importance of having this meal, if possible at home, including certain foods (eg, dairy, cereals), as well as minimizing others (eg, processed meats).”

dr López-Gil pointed out other factors that may be involved in determining psychosocial health:

“One possible reason justifying these results is that eating at home (usually accompanied by family members) could offer a formal [or] informal time in which parents [or] guardians could connect with their children’s emotional well-being.”

Similarly, Dr. López-Gil noted that eating outside of the home “has been related to energy-dense and high fat food consumption, as well as a lack of micronutrients, which could (at least partially) explain this finding.”

“Studies with different designs are needed to establish the direction of these associations (eg, longitudinal studies) or cause-effect relationships (eg, intervention studies). Such designs could provide more robust evidence of this association and thus provide stronger public health recommendations.”

– dr López-Gil, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Castilla-La Mancha and lead author of the study

If a balanced breakfast eaten at home is best for psychosocial health, what should young people be eating before heading off for school?

dr Gina Posner, a board certified pediatrician at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA, told MNT:

“The study showed that things like eggs were not good. I usually suggest things that are higher in protein and lower in sugar for breakfast so that the children have longer-lasting energy. I don’t like high fat foods for breakfast — donuts, muffins, sugary cereals. I do like yogurt, eggs, [and] low-sugar cereals.”

One study from 2007 suggests that a breakfast high in tryptophan, found in dairy, oats, nuts, and seeds, might help with quality sleep and mental health in children. In addition to providing tryptophan, dairy products contain vitamin D, which has been associated with lower levels of anxiety.

And dietary fiber, which is important for good health, is linked to lower odds of depression, so breakfasting on high-fiber foods, such as wholegrain cereals and bread, fruit, nuts, and seeds, is particularly beneficial.

For a cost-effective breakfast that will set children up for the day and help boost their mental health, try oatmeal, yogurt, or wholegrain toast with peanut butter. If the budget allows, add some fruit or unsweetened juice to increase the vitamin content.

“I think breakfast really is an important meal even if it is just a quick piece of toast with some peanut butter on it. It really helps mentally to have some energy.”

– dr Gina Posner, board certified pediatrician at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center

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Healthy Eating

Plant-based diet linked to lower risk in men

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Share on PinterestMore evidence emerges in support of the notion that a healthy plant-based diet is linked to a lower risk of bowel cancer. Image credit: Jimena Roquero/Stocksy.

  • Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States.
  • The risk of developing colorectal cancer is increased by overweight or obesity, smoking, and a diet high in red or processed meats.
  • Including plenty of whole grains, fresh fruit, and vegetables in one’s diet can reduce this risk, existing research has shown.
  • A large study has now found that, in men, a diet that is high in healthy plant-based foods is associated with lower colorectal cancer risk.

Colorectal cancer, also known as bowel, colon, or rectal cancer, is the third most commonly diagnosed and the second deadliest cancer in the United States.

Most people who receive a colorectal cancer diagnosis are over the age of 50, although it can affect younger people, too.

In recent years, cases in older people have started to decline, but the incidence among younger people is increasing. However, these changes may be due to more effective cancer screening.

The risk of colorectal cancer increases with age. Other risk factors people cannot influence are a family history of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases — such as Crohn’s disease — and certain genetic syndromes.

There are, however, many lifestyle factors that also influence a person’s risk of colorectal cancer. Factors that are likely to increase the risk include:

  • a diet low in fiber, fruit, and vegetables
  • Lack of physical activity
  • a diet high in fat and red or processed meat
  • overweight and obesity
  • Tobacco use and heavy alcohol consumption.

Several studies have investigated the relationship between diet and colorectal cancer, finding that the typical Western diet that is high in fat, red meat, and processed meat increases the risk.

Reducing these foods and increasing foods high in dietary fiber is associated with a reduction in risk.

Plant-based foods tend to be high in dietary fiber, but only in an unprocessed state.

Now, a study that appears in BMC Medicine has found that a diet high in healthy plant-based foods — whole grains, fresh fruit, and vegetables — is associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer in men.

Unhealthy plant-based foods — refined grains, fruit juices, and added sugars — had no beneficial effect on cancer risk.

“This American study adds to lots of existing evidence on the benefits of eating a balanced diet high in fruit, vegetables and fiber for both men and women.”

– Beth Vincent, health information manager, Cancer Research UK (CRUK)

The study group included 79,952 men and 93,475 women who were followed up for an average of 19.2 years. All participants were from Hawaii or the Los Angeles area and were aged between 45 and 75 years at enrollment. The group included people of African American, Japanese American, Native Hawaiian, Latinx, and white volunteers.

At the start of the study, researchers assessed participants’ usual diet with a self-reported questionnaire.

Participants had to report how often and how much they ate out of more than 180 different foods and beverages. They chose from four portion size options, and frequencies ranging from never to four times a day.

From the responses, the researchers calculated daily energy and nutrient intakes, then calculated three plant-based diet indices — overall (PDI), healthful (hPDI), and unhealthful (uPDI).

The researchers defined whole grains, fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils, nuts, legumes, tea, and coffee as healthy plant-based foods. Less healthy plant-based foods included refined grains, fruit juices, potatoes, and added sugars.

To achieve a high hPDI score, participants had to have a high intake of healthy plant-based foods and a low intake of less healthy plant-based foods.

Overall, plant-based diets, particularly healthy plant-based diets, were associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer in men, but not in women. Unhealthy plant-based diets did not appear to reduce the risk.

For healthy plant-based diets, the association was stronger in Japanese American, Native Hawaiian, and white men than in those from other groups.

The researchers suggest that “the benefits from plant-based diets may vary by sex, race and ethnicity, and anatomic subsite of tumor.”

The study had a large sample size, long follow-up time, and racial and ethnic diversity in the study population. However, the authors acknowledge some limitations of the study, including possible selection bias in who responded to the questionnaires and the negative scoring of all animal-based foods.

Several other studies have shown that some animal-based foods may actually be beneficial. Two reviews have found that both fish and dairy products may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

Beth Vincent argued that the study findings should be viewed with caution:

“The research tried to compare ‘healthy plant foods’ and ‘unhealthy plant foods’ and found a link with bowel cancer in men. But because of the design of the study, the authors themselves acknowledge we can’t read too much into their results. The study relied on people remembering what they had eaten up to a year ago. It also made the assumptions that participants’ diets stayed the same over many years, and that all meat and animal products were unhealthy — which isn’t the case.”

This study adds to the growing evidence that diet and lifestyle play a key role in cancer risk.

Vincent agreed, giving the following advice: “Eating a well-balanced diet can help with maintaining a healthy weight, which reduces the risk of cancer. Not smoking, cutting down on alcohol, and staying safe in the sun are other important ways to reduce your cancer risk.”

One study suggests that up to 35% of cancers are linked to diet. And diet can greatly affect the risk of colorectal cancers.

The American Cancer Society recommends that to reduce colorectal cancer risk, a person should include lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and limit the amount of meat they eat.

Prof. Jihye Kim, from Kyung Hee University, who is one of the study authors, says that:

“We speculate that the antioxidants found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains could contribute to lowering colorectal cancer risk by suppressing chronic inflammation, which can lead to cancer. As men tend to have a higher risk of colorectal cancer than women, we propose that this could help explain why eating greater amounts of healthy plant-based foods was associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer in men but not women.”

The authors’ conclusion that “improving the quality of plant foods and reducing animal food consumption can help prevent colorectal cancer” may be a little optimistic, but their study certainly adds to the evidence that a healthy diet can help to reduce overall cancer risk.

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Healthy Eating

7 Day Healthy Meal Plan (Nov 28-Dec 4)

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posted November 26, 2022 by gina

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

A free 7-day, flexible weight loss meal plan including breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas and a shopping list. All recipes include macros and links to WW recipe builder to get your personal points.

7 Day Healthy Meal Plan

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend! I always cherish time spent with my family- I am so thankful for them! If you went off plan this weekend, don’t stress! It is OK to indulge every now and then, just recalibrate and keep going!

With grocery prices soaring, many of us are having to adjust, scale back and/or get more creative with our meals. One of the absolute BEST ways to stay within a budget and maintain healthy eating habits is to MEAL PLAN. You can get more 5-day Budget Friendly Meal Plans by signing up for Relish+ (get a 14-day free trial here!)

Ultimate Skinny Taste Meal Planner

Skinnytaste Ultimate Meal Planner

I’m also excited to share the Skinnytaste Ultimate Meal Planner is now available! The 52 week spiral bound meal planner has weekly meal planning grids you can tear out and put on your fridge if you wish, a 12-week meal plan, 30 (15 new) recipes, and tear-out grocery lists. I love starting my week with gratitude, affirmations and intentions, so I included a space for that as well. I hope you will love this as much as I do!

Skinnytaste Ultimate Meal Planner

Buy the meal planner here:

A note about WW Personal Points:

I no longer provide points since they vary on the new Weight Watchers plans but I do provide links to WW Personal points recipe builder for all recipes. Look for the orange button in the recipe card says my WW personal points. Click on that and it takes you to the Weight Watchers website where you can see the WW points and add it to your day (US only, you must be logged into your account). All cookbook recipes in the cookbook index are also updated!

About The Meal Plan

If you’re new to my meal plans, I’ve been sharing these free, 7-day flexible healthy meal plans (you can see my previous meal plans here) that are meant as a guide, with plenty of wiggle room for you to add more food, coffee, beverages, fruits, snacks, dessert, wine, etc. or swap recipes out for meals you prefer, you can search for recipes by course in the index. Depending on your goals, you should aim for at least 1500 calories* per day. There’s no one size fits all, this will range by your goals, your age, weight, etc.

There’s also a precise, organized grocery list that will make grocery shopping so much easier and much less stressful. Save you money and time. You’ll dine out less often, waste less food and you’ll have everything you need on hand to help keep you on track.

Lastly, if you’re on Facebook join my Skinnytaste Facebook Community where everyone’s sharing photos of recipes they are making, you can join here. I’m loving all the ideas everyone’s sharing! If you wish to get on the email list, you can subscribe here so you never miss a meal plan!

Meal plan:

Breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday, are designed to serve 1 while dinners and all meals on Saturday and Sunday are designed to serve a family of 4. Some recipes make enough leftovers for two nights or lunch the next day. The grocery list is comprehensive and includes everything you need to make all meals on the plan.

MONDAY (11/28)
B: Peanut Butter Protein Oatmeal Cookies*
L: Chicken Salad with Lemon and Dill *in ½ a whole wheat pita and 8 baby carrots
D: 2 cups Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Parmesan and Pecans with Dad’s Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Total Calories: 1,024**

TUESDAY (11/29)
B: LEFTOVER Peanut Butter Protein Oatmeal Cookies
L: LEFTOVER Chicken Salad with Lemon and Dill in ½ a whole wheat pita and 8 baby carrots
D: Madison’s Favorite Beef Tacos with Instant Pot Black Beans
Total Calories: 1,107**

WEDNESDAY (11/30)
B: LEFTOVER Peanut Butter Protein Oatmeal Cookies
L: LEFTOVER Chicken Salad with Lemon and Dill in ½ a whole wheat pita and 8 baby carrots
UK: LEFTOVER Madison’s Favorite Beef Tacos with LEFTOVER Instant Pot Black Beans

Total Calories: 1,107**

THURSDAY (12/1)
B: Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats
L: Protein Egg and Quinoa Salad Jars
GB: Garlic-Ginger Chicken Stir Fry with ½ cup brown rice

Total Calories: 1,190**

FRIDAY (12/2)
B: Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats
L: LEFTOVER Protein Egg and Quinoa Salad Jars
D: Parmesan Herb Baked Salmon with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and String Beans with Garlic and Oil

Total calories: 1151**

SATURDAY (12/3)
B: Sausage, Cheese and Veggie Breakfast Casserole
L: Tuna Poke Salad (recipe x 2)
D: DINNER OUT

Total Calories: 634**

SUNDAY (12/4)
B: LEFTOVER Sausage, Cheese and Veggie Breakfast Casserole
L: Loaded Baked Potato Soup with 2 ounces multigrain baguette
D: Stuffed Butternut Squash with Wild Rice and Sausage and a green salad #
Total calories: 982**

*Prep Mon-Wed breakfast and lunch Sunday night, if desired.
**This is just a guide, women should aim for around 1500 calories per day. Here’s a helpful calculator to estimate
your calorie needs. I’ve left plenty of wiggle room for you to add more food such as coffee, beverages, fruits,
snacks, desserts, wine, etc.

# Green salad includes 12 cups mixed greens, 4 scallions and 1 cup each: tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and chickpeas
with ½ cup light vinaigrette. Set aside ½ the salad, with dressing on the side, for dinner Tuesday.

*Google doc

Print Shopping List

shopping list

produce

  • 3 medium very ripe bananas
  • 2 medium lemons
  • 1 medium (6-ounce) PLUS 1 large (7-ounce) Hass avocados
  • 5 Persian cucumbers (can sub 2 medium English cucumbers, if desired)
  • ½ pound Brussels sprouts (or 4 cup pre-shredded)
  • 1 small PLUS 1 medium head cauliflower
  • ½ pound broccoli florets
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 medium russet potatoes
  • 10 ounces sliced ​​shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1 small poblano pepper
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1 large (2-pound) butternut squash
  • 1 pound baby bok choy
  • 2 large head garlic
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1 medium bag of baby carrots
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag/clamshell baby kale
  • 1 (1-pound) bag/clamshell baby arugula
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag/clamshell baby spinach
  • 1 small head Romaine lettuce
  • 1 small bunch of lacinato kale
  • 2 medium bunches of scallions
  • 1 small container/bunch chives
  • 1 small container/bunch of fresh dill
  • 1 small container/bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 small container/bunch fresh thyme (can sub 1 teaspoon dry thyme in Stuffed Butternut Squash, if desired)
  • 1 medium container/bunch fresh Thai basil (can sub ½ cup traditional basil Ginger Chicken Stir Fry, if desired)
  • 1 small bunch of fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 dry pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 medium plum tomatoes
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 small yellow onions

Meat, Poultry and Fish

  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 1½ pounds thin sliced ​​boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets
  • 1 pound sweet Italian chicken sausage
  • 1 package center cut bacon
  • 2 pounds of 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 (2-pound) skin-on salmon fillet
  • 1 pound sushi grade tuna

grain*

  • 1 pack of quick oats
  • 1 large package crunchy corn taco shells (you need 16)
  • 1 small package whole wheat pitas
  • 1 (8-ounce) multigrain baguette
  • 1 small package unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 small package dry quinoa (or ½ cup pre-cooked)
  • 1 small package dry brown rice (or 2 cups pre-cooked)
  • 1 small package dry wild rice

Condiments and Spices

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Cooking spray
  • Olive oil spray (or get a misto oil mister)
  • Kosher salt (I like Diamond Crystal)
  • Pepper grinder (or fresh peppercorns)
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Pure maple syrup
  • cumin
  • Chili powder
  • paprika
  • Smoked peppers
  • coriander
  • oregano
  • Bay leaves
  • Green Tabasco
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Reduced sodium soy sauce*
  • chili paste
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Light mayonnaise
  • Rice vinegar
  • Rice wine
  • Wasabi paste
  • Furikake (I like Eden Shake)
  • Light vinaigrette dressing (or make your own with ingredients in list)

Dairy & Misc. Refrigerated Items

  • 1 (18-pack) large eggs
  • 1 small box of salted butter or tub of whipped butter
  • 1 package pre-cooked lentils (can buy dry [green or brown] and cook yourself, if desired)
  • 1 large wedge of fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pint skim milk
  • 1 pint 1% reduced fat milk
  • 1 small tub of light sour cream
  • 1 (8-ounce) bag of reduced fat shredded sharp cheese
  • 1 (8-ounce) bag shredded cheddar cheese (can sub 1 cup reduced fat cheddar in Tacos, if desired)
  • 1 (8-ounce) bag of shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 1 small container whipped cream or dairy free whipped cream (optional, for topping overnight oats)

Canned and Jarred

  • 1 small jar pumpkin butter (or ingredients to make your own)
  • 1 small jar of peanut butter
  • 1 (32-ounce) carton low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (32-ounce) carton reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (32-ounce) carton chicken broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

Frozen

  • 1 small package shelled edamame

mix dry goods

  • Cornstarch
  • 1 small package vanilla protein powder (I like Orgain)
  • 1 package sugar free chocolate chips (such as Lily’s)
  • 1 small package chia seeds (if buying from bulk bin, you need 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 small package granulated sugar (or sugar substitute such as Monk Fruit)
  • 1 (1-pound) package of dry black beans
  • 1 small package fruit juice sweetened dried cranberries (if buying from bulk bin, you need ¼ cup)
  • 1 medium package pecan or walnut halves (if buying from bulk bin, you need about ¾ cup)
  • 1 small package dry roasted peanuts (if buying from bulk bin, you need 1/3 cup)

*You can buy gluten free, if desired

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Healthy Eating

A potato or bean-based diet may help with weight loss

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Share on PinterestCertain types of diets may affect insulin resistance and weight loss results for people with diabetes. Design by MNT; Photography by Jenny Dettrick/Getty Images & Elizabeth Fernandez/Getty Images

  • Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disorder influenced by diet and other lifestyle factors.
  • People with diabetes can work with nutritionists and other specialists to develop meal plans that are diverse and nutritious.
  • One food that nutritionists may ask people with diabetes to initially stay away from or lower their consumption of is carbohydrate-rich foods such as potatoes.
  • Data from a recent study, however, found that low-energy bean and potato-based diets may be effective in helping reduce insulin resistance and promoting weight loss.

Diet is an essential component of health, particularly for people with diabetes or who are more at risk of developing diabetes. Researchers are constantly examining how food choices can impact people in this demographic.

A recent study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food explores how potato and bean diets may help people who are insulin-resistant.

The researchers found that participants consuming a diet rich in beans and potatoes experienced weight loss and reduced insulin resistance.

it is important to note that the study received funding from the Alliance for Potato Research and Education.

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a chronic condition where the body does not respond to insulin normally. Insulin is a critical component that enables the body’s cells to use glucose for energy.

People who are at risk for diabetes and people with type 2 diabetes can follow eating plans that help them manage their diabetes and improve their physical well-being. Each person will have slightly different needs, but organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer some general recommendations.

For example, some people with type 2 diabetes should limit carbohydrates and increase their intake of non-starchy vegetables. Starchy vegetables such as beans and potatoes contain carbohydrates, but that doesn’t mean people with diabetes or insulin resistance must eliminate them completely.

Registered dietitian nutritionist Yelena Wheeler, who was not involved in the study, explained to MNT:

“Potatoes and beans are not innately ‘bad foods’ when it comes to glucose management. However, preparations of these foods can determine how beneficial or detrimental these foods can be to one’s glucose management.”

“Additionally, not all potatoes are created equal. Sweet potatoes and yams baked with the skin on can, in fact, be great additions to a well-balanced diet by providing its high fiber content,” she said.

“Fiber content contributes to satiety and blood sugar management. This, in turn, can decrease a person with [type 2 diabetes] dependence on insulin and, therefore, may also improve weight maintenance and even weight loss,” Wheeler explained.

This particular study was a randomized feeding equivalence trial. It included 36 adult participants with insulin resistance.

Researchers compared two diets: one high in potatoes and the other in pulses (beans and peas) and the diets’ impact on blood glucose control. Participants were on one of the two controlled diets for eight weeks with regular follow-ups.

Kristian Morey, registered dietitian, and clinical dietitian with the Nutrition and Diabetes Education program at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, who was also not involved in the study, noted to MNT:

“One interesting detail that they mention in the study was that they cooked and cooled the potatoes prior to serving them to participants. This process can make some of the starch contained in the potato slower to digest than before, and this can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance when consuming such food.”

“It is also important to note that they consumed other foods—such as protein foods—with the potatoes, which can improve glycemic response as well,” she added.

Overall, the researchers found that participants on both diets did not see a significant drop in blood glucose levels. However, both groups experienced weight loss and reduced insulin resistance.

Amy Kimberlain, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Media, who was not involved in the study, told MNT:

“This study helped show that utilizing foods that reduce the energy density of the diet will not only allow for an improved insulinemic response but also help to promote weight loss as well.”

“Additionally, this study helps to continue the conversation that we can improve different risk factors in people by making changes in our diets (eating patterns) but still continue to eat foods that we enjoy.”
— Amy Kimberlain

The study did have several limitations. First, it included a small sample size, so future studies can work on including more participants. Most participants were female, indicating more diverse follow-up may also be needed.

The study was also only eight weeks long, so more long-term studies are required to look at long-term results.

The researchers noted that the differences between participants’ baselines of Body Mass Index (BMI) and fasting insulin levels did ultimately affect the study’s outcomes. There were also some difficulties in study completion due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kimberlain also noted that researchers had tight control over food preparation but that translating this into real-life practice could be more difficult.

“These meals were prepared for the people in a metabolic kitchen, meaning the ability to confirm what people were eating (calories/content/etc.) was there. And while this is a study and they used this to have the ability to confirm intake, to verify and/or see if this is effective in the long-term with people, it’d be important for people to be able to do this on their own (after receiving instruction on how to prepare the examples of meals they received),” she said.

Overall, the study demonstrates that preparation and food choices are essential components of diabetes control. Further research is warranted to confirm how starchy vegetables like beans and potatoes can contribute to healthy diets for people at risk for type 2 diabetes.

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