EATING a certain type of carbohydrate on a regular basis can help ward off a common silent killer, experts have revealed.
Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that causes your blood sugar levels to become too high.
In the UK, around one in 10 people are thought to have the condition – which if left untreated can cause issues such as sight loss, amputation, stroke and heart disease.
Now medics in Catalunya, Spain, have revealed the one food item that you can eat to help prevent the condition.
But it might not be an item you have lurking at the back of your cupboard – as quinoa isn't necessarily a British staple.
Luckily you can pick up a 300g bag of the grain from Tesco for just £2.00 or just £1.25 in Asda.
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The experts at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya said replacing standard carbs with the food mitigates blood glucose spikes after meals.
Around 70 per cent of people with pre-diabetes will go on to have the disease, and the gurus said including the carb would be an easy way to decrease your risk.
The food has a high nutritional value, and is rich in vitamins B, C and E as well as minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium.
Writing in the journal Nutrients, the medics said that it's because of these nutritional properties that it was believed the rice-like meal could have a favourable impact in those with conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
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As part of the study, researchers removed carbohydrate-rich foods such as cereals, pulses and pasta from the diets of participants.
These cause a more rapid increase in blood glucose levels.
They instead replaced them with quinoa.
Those tested were over the age of 65 and were prediabetic.
Over a month they monitored the participants and tested them with a glucose monitor that provided readings every minute of the day.
They also had to keep a record of the food they consumed and when.
This helped the researchers determine how their blood sugar levels varied at each meal.
The researchers said: "We compared the blood sugar patterns and found that when the participants had eaten quinoa, their blood sugar spike was lower than with their usual diet.
"This is crucial because these post-meal blood sugar spikes are a determining factor in the progression of type 2 diabetes."
As part of the research, they also found that a quinoa-based diet can also help control blood lipid levels.
This, they said, is why they believe it could be useful in controlling high cholesterol and other factors associated with cardiac risk.
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