Researchers are investigating whether foods including garlic and asparagus could help weight loss and diabetes. In news that could make ardent vegans and vegetarians feel a little smug, the charity Diabetes UK is examining whether foods rich in fibre could supress people’s appetites and reduce their blood sugar levels.
Fermentable carbohydrates, a kind of fibre, are found in foods such as asparagus, garlic, chicory and Jerusalem artichokes. If the foods are found to have this effect it could revolutionise treatments to tackle obesity and type 2 diabetes. Recent research has suggested that foods high in fermentable carbohydrates are particularly good at stabilising blood sugar levels.
The three-year study by the Nutrition and Research Group at Imperial College London, aims to establish whether these carbohydrates cause the release of gut hormones that could reduce appetite and enhance insulin sensitivity, which could reduce blood sugar levels and help control weight. The carbohydrates will be given to participants in the study as a daily supplement.
Dietitian Nicola Guess, who is leading the study, said: “By investigating how appetite and blood glucose levels are regulated in people at high risk of type 2 diabetes, it is hoped that we can find a way to prevent its onset. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% of diabetes cases and, if left untreated, can lead to serious health complications including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputation, according to Diabetes UK.
Dr Iain Frame, the charity’s director of research, said: “It is unlikely that any single measure used on its own will bring about improved prevention of type 2 diabetes. But it’s hoped that the research being funded at Imperial College will help by aiming to develop an easy and affordable way to help people to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and managing their blood glucose levels.”
Thank you David Batty/Guardian