Diabetes is one of the most common non-communicable diseases in the world. In Spain alone, according to the latest data from the International Diabetes Federation, it affects more than five million people.
Thus, Spain is the second European country with the highest rate incidence rate (8 out of 100 people). Outside our borders, China is the country with the most diabetics (140 million), followed by India (74 million people), Pakistan (32 million) and the United States (32 million people) .
The Type 2 diabetes is the most common. The main causes of its appearance are a sedentary lifestyle and the accumulation of fatty tissue. It is up to ten times more common than Type 1 diabetesa chronic autoimmune disease that usually develops during childhood or adolescence.
However, a study published in ‘Nutrients‘ and led by Diana Diaz Rizzoloprofessor of health science studies at UOC, points out that regular consumption of quinoa may contribute to the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Some previous studies have shown that polyphenols, found in quinoa, can lower blood sugar.
And it is that the nutritional value of this food, of Andean origin, makes it one of the richest. Per 100 grams, 14 grams of protein, 22 milligrams of vitamin C, 47 milligrams of calcium, 4.6 milligrams of iron and, of course, polyphenols.
“We did a review to find out what the scientific literature said about all the benefits that were attributed to quinoa and we saw that there was no previous scientific evidence, that there were only hypotheses and that existing studies only focused on a specific component or nutrient, without considering all foods,” explains the lead author of the research.
Prioritize the consumption of quinoa
For this reason, Dr. Díaz Rizzolo and his team launched an eight-week clinical study: four weeks with a normal diet, with complex carbohydrates such as cereals and legumes, and another four weeks with quinoa.
The average age of the participants, in a prediabetic state, was 69, with morbidities such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia (presence of blood fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides) and a history of diabetes mellitus. . Most of them women.
“70% of people who are in a state of prediabetes will eventually develop the disease. Moreover, this conversion rate increases in the elderly. In this way, the sum of prediabetic status and aging greatly increases the risk of developing the disease”, underlines the doctor.
Other foods made from quinoa flour (with a percentage greater than 70%) were also part of the diet, such as cookies, sandwich bread or pasta.
Quinoa is high in unsaturated fats, antioxidants and polyphenols, with clear cardiovascular benefits
And the results were very promising, even though it was a pilot study, the sample was very small. “We compared blood sugar patterns and found that when participants ate quinoa, the spike in glucose was lower than quinoa.” diet usual,” he says.
“This is crucial, because these spikes in blood sugar after eating are key in the development of type 2 diabetes.”