Eat More of This Food if You Have Diabetes

A simple tweak to your diet may help to improve your vitamin D levels if you have type 2 diabetes, a new study reports.

Diabetic rats who were fed an egg-based diet had higher concentrations of vitamin D, better blood sugar and they also gained less weight, Iowa State researchers found.

The key player in the study was 25-hydroxyvitamin D-3, which is the form of vitamin D in the blood that reflects vitamin D status.

"Eggs are the richest source of 25-hydroxyvitamin D-3 in the diet," said Matthew Rowling, an associate professor of food science and human nutrition, "and there isn't any conversion required to make it into the blood. If you take it in a supplement or food fortified with vitamin D, it has to be converted to that form."

Health is in the yolk

Rats who were fed an egg-based diet had blood glucose levels that were 50 percent lower than the rats who were fed a standard diet, while a specific cardiovascular risk factor dropped 52 percent in the egg-eating rats.

For humans, eggs can be a good source of vitamin D, but only if you eat the whole egg, researchers said.

"If you just ate egg whites you wouldn't get any of the vitamin D, because the 25D is only in the yolk," said Samantha Jones, graduate research assistant. "The whites are fine if you're focused just on protein, but the nutrients are all in the yolk. From a vitamin D standpoint, you want to consume the whole thing."

Diabetics should be careful not to eat too many eggs, however, as they are also a significant source of cholesterol.

"We want to make sure we understand what's going on with egg consumption and promoting vitamin D balance and make sure there's a linkage to outcomes whether it's bone health or kidney health," said Kevin Schalinske, co-author of the study.

Source: Iowa State University

Image courtesy of maya picture/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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