According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, one in three Canadians lives with either diabetes or prediabetes. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and the association aims to raise the profile of this disease, which often goes undiagnosed.
Diabetes occurs when the body can’t produce insulin – the hormone that controls the level of glucose in our blood. High blood sugar levels can damage organs, blood vessels and nerves. There are three types of diabetes: type 1, where the body releases very little insulin; type 2, where the body can’t use the insulin that it produces; and gestational diabetes which is a temporary version that occurs during pregnancy. While type 1 diabetes is always controlled using insulin, all three types of the disease can benefit from careful meal planning.
In fact, consuming blueberries may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers in Boston found that eating whole fruit – specifically blueberries, lowered the incidence of developing the disease. Interestingly, they found that drinking fruit juice increased the risk. Research conducted at Louisiana State University indicated that consuming blueberries may increase insulin sensitivity among those who already have type 2 diabetes.
Luckily, there are plenty of tasty, healthy ways to incorporate blueberries into your diet throughout the year. These mini meatloaves are the ultimate winter comfort food, with both the benefits of blueberries and low-GI lentils. A Blueberry Superfood Salad is packed with healthy ingredients including quinoa, kale and beets. For dessert or a healthy snack, try these Blueberry Cocoa Bites, which get all of their sweetness from fruit.