Don't have diabetes? Diet and lifestyle advice is still the same, study finds

Recent research published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), suggests that the advice diabetics receive about nutrition, exercise and health habits holds true for the general public.

While diabetics may benefit more from this advice, the researchers concluded, the associations between lifestyle factors and mortality varied little between patients with or without the blood sugar condition.

The study

Researchers analyzed a cohort of 6,384 diabetics and 258,911 non-diabetics from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Using computer models, the relationships between mortality and lifestyle/diet risk factors was explored. The research team looked at body mass index, waist-height ratio, alcohol consumption, 26 food groups, physical activity and smoking.

Not surprisingly, results showed that mortality rates increased in people with diabetes – individuals with the condition were 62 percent more likely to die earlier than non-diabetics. A healthy diet of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and vegetable oil was associated with lower mortality risk, however, while intake of butter and margarine was associated with an increased risk.

Other factors

Diet was found to play a more significant role in helping diabetics lower mortality rates than it did in non-diabetics, but other lifestyle factors, like alcohol consumption, body mass index, physical activity and smoking didn't show any differences.

"Individuals with diabetes may benefit more from a healthy diet than people without diabetes," the study authors wrote. "However, since the directions of association were generally the same, recommendations for a healthy diet should be similar for people with or without diabetes."

Source: Science Daily

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