Choose Blue for Diabetes Awareness Month
BC Blueberries are a diabetes superfood.
Since November is Diabetes Awareness Month, over the next few weeks we challenge you to learn about the benefits of healthier foods and choose BLUE in support of diabetes prevention and awareness.
In 2019, one in three Canadians had been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes (Diabetes Canada, 2019). Diabetes is still one of the leading causes of death in Canada, and other diseases on the list (heart disease, kidney failure, and stroke) are all complications associated with diabetes (Stats Canada, 2019).
This year’s theme of promoting “education to protect tomorrow” is an important message that we have rallied behind. We want to share why BC Blueberries are an excellent food choice for those who have diabetes, or for those that want to lower their risk of diabetes and other diseases by leading a healthier lifestyle. By choosing nutritious foods, we can all take a step towards a healthier future.
- A Diabetes Superfood
Berries are part of the American Diabetes Association’s list of “superfoods,” meaning they are “rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre that are good for overall health and may also help prevent disease” (American Diabetes Association, 2021). Blueberries fall under this category as they are filled with high levels of Vitamin C, anthocyanins (antioxidants), and fibre.
- Part of a Low GI Diet
According to Diabetes Canada, blueberries (and other berries) are foods with a low glycemic index (GI). Foods that have a low GI are meant to be consumed by those with type 1, type 2, or pre-diabetes most often. This is because “foods with a high GI increase blood sugar higher and faster than foods with a low GI” (Diabetes Canada, 2021).
Those with diabetes aren’t the only ones that benefit from consuming low GI foods. Those that eat a low GI diet will decrease their risk of type 2 diabetes and its complications, feel fuller for longer, and maintain or lose weight (Diabetes Canada, 2021).
- Full of Fibre
Eating a handful of blueberries meets the required daily fibre intake. Choosing foods that are high in fibre is essential for those with diabetes because fibre doesn’t raise blood sugar levels. Eating high-fibre foods is important for those that manage their diabetes through carb counting, as the amount of fibre is subtracted from the number of carbohydrates in each food (Diabetes Canada, 2018). Blueberries are both high in fibre and low in carbs, which makes them an excellent option for those with diabetes.
- Lowers the Risk of Complications
Amongst the other complications associated with diabetes, blueberries have also been linked to lowering blood pressure, improving the body’s insulin response, protecting the heart during a heart attack, and repairing it after damage. Researchers at Louisiana State’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center found that drinking two blueberry smoothies a day helped improve insulin sensitivity in obese insulin-resistant people (Journal of Nutrition, 2010).
For more information on why BC Blueberries (both fresh and frozen) are a healthy food choice, visit bcblueberry.com and @bcblueberries on socials.