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Myth-Busting Blueberries

The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek RD, LD.

I like to think of fruit as nature’s candy. You may have even found that a piece of fruit works wonders in curbing your sweet tooth. But does this strategy apply to those with diabetes and pre-diabetes? After all, shouldn’t these folks be watching their sugar intake?

First, let me clarify that the natural sugar found in fruit is different from the added sugar in breakfast cereal and other processed foods. In addition to a slew of vitamins and minerals, fresh fruit is loaded with dietary fiber, which helps slow the impact on blood sugar. But that doesn’t mean you should eat fruit with wild abandon either because it can still raise blood sugar levels if you’re not careful.

Blueberries, on the other hand, are quite special.

A promising 2020 study suggests that regular consumption of blueberries may lower hemoglobin A1c—a measure of average blood sugar over the past two to three months—in men with type 2 diabetes. The effect is due in part to blueberries being a rich source of anthocyanins, a natural plant compound that offers various health benefits.

It turns out these compounds, referred to as polyphenols, may stimulate the secretion of insulin, the hormone that shuttles sugar from your bloodstream into your cells to stabilize blood sugar levels.

Other polyphenol-rich foods with similar blood sugar-balancing benefits are pomegranates, tea, cacao, cinnamon and currents.

Berry Green Smoothie

Key Takeaway

Blueberries are incredibly diverse and can be easily incorporated into a variety of meals.

As your Heinen’s dietitian, I am giving you a personal food prescription (Fx) to enjoy a handful of blueberries in some way, every day. You’re welcome!

Sources

Melanie Jatsek, RD, LD
By Melanie Jatsek RD, LD
Heinen's Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek, RD, LD believes that the answer to a strong, healthy and vibrant body lies within. She graduated cum laude from the University of Akron, earning a degree in Nutrition & Dietetics and has over 20 years of experience in wellness program development, health coaching and professional speaking. As a published author of three books and registered dietitian for Heinen’s, Melanie offers programs, services and tools to help Heinen’s customers take inspired action to build the healthy body they were meant to live in without giving up their favorite foods.

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