A few months ago, we reported that a study had found that consuming parsley and the plant-based meals it contains could reduce the risk of heart disease.
Now, a new study has found that the same diet, but without the plant proteins, can actually lower the risk for heart disease in people who have diabetes.
As part of a larger study of more than 2,000 people, researchers at Harvard Medical School found that eating parsley was linked to a reduction in the risk that participants would develop Type 2 diabetes.
Researchers followed participants who were diagnosed with diabetes and then tracked them for two years, tracking their blood sugar and other blood markers, and comparing the risk to people who had not developed Type 2.
The results showed that people who ate a diet high in the plant protein Parsley, as well as eating a diet with less than three servings of sugar a day, had a 20 percent lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes than people who did not eat any of the foods.
“We know that people with Type 2 have higher levels of sugar and fat in their blood, so it is important to be aware of these and to consume these foods,” Dr. Michael H. Willett, a Harvard Medical professor and author of the study, said in a statement.
“Parsley provides nutrients, particularly in the form of fiber, that are thought to help lower insulin levels and decrease the risk.
People who eat parsley are also healthier overall.”
As part, the researchers followed the participants for three years, monitoring their blood glucose levels and other health factors, including their diet and physical activity levels.
“We saw that people eating parsly had a higher intake of total and monounsaturated fat, more dietary fiber, and a lower intake of cholesterol, the bad cholesterol that can contribute to heart disease,” Dr Michael W. Pollan, the lead author of this study and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard, told ABC News.
“These are all nutrients that may be important for people with type 2 diabetes.”
The study was published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Dr. John J. DellaVigna, an associate professor of cardiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and an expert on heart disease and diabetes, said that people can benefit from the diet and lifestyle changes associated with eating parsleys, as it could help lower their risk of diabetes and heart disease overall.
He said that, while he does not think people should restrict their diet entirely, they should focus on the foods that they eat to reduce their risk.
“It’s really important that people eat parsleys and other plant foods,” he said.
“I don’t think they should restrict them.
But, I do think they need to be mindful of their diet.”
Dr. DelaVignas study also found that those who ate parsley at least once a day had a 37 percent lower chance of developing type 2 Diabetes.
People who ate more than four servings of fruit and vegetables a day were also at a lower risk, while those who had one serving of fruits and vegetables daily were also slightly less likely to develop Type 1 Diabetes.
A lot of people think that you can’t eat too much fruit and that you need to limit how much you eat, but Dr. DallaVignes study found that people were actually eating more fruit and vegetable, but less total and saturated fat, than people with diabetes.
Dr DallaViogna added that he is working on a study that will look at people who are obese or obese and have diabetes and look at how that changes the risk factors for Type 2, but for now, he said people should focus solely on the diet.
“For people with obesity, you have to keep their body weight under control,” he told ABC.
“For people who don’t have diabetes, they have to be able to get their glucose under control and reduce their body fat.”