To examine the relationship between healthy diet and diabetes risk, researchers followed nearly 80,000 women participants in the Nurses' Health Study from 1984 to 2002.
During the study period, participants completed questionnaires about their eating habits, which were used to create an "Alternate Healthy Eating Index" score. The index measured diet quality in regards to a number of criteria, including fruit and vegetable intake, cereal fibre intake, the ratio of white meat to red meat, trans fat intake and the use of multivitamins.
During the 18-year study period, women with the healthiest diet, or highest score according to the Alternate Eating Index, were 36 percent less likely than those with the lowest scores to develop diabetes.
In fact, women whose score improved during the follow up period, even during the last few years, also had a lower risk of developing the disease, suggesting that even relative short term changes in healthy eating patterns can have an effect on the risk of developing diabetes.
For more information on diabetes, please visit the Canadian Diabetes Association.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.