You’ve probably seen a number of recommendations out there for how to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes as you get older, but scientists have found one food that could help you see incredible results: sardines. Yes, we’re talking about those little fish you may find on your caesar salad. They may not be everyone’s favorite, but hear us out before you swear them off!
Researchers at the Open University of Catalonia in Spain recently conducted a study with 152 older participants who were diagnosed with prediabetes. They were split into two groups: One group was put on a diet focused on diabetes prevention that included eating 200 grams of sardines (roughly two cans) per week for 12 months, while the other was put on the same diet plan but didn’t have a special sardine requirement.
After one year on their respective diets, participants who’d had the fish were at an overall lower risk of type 2 diabetes. In fact, at the outset of the study, 37 percent of the participants in that group were at high risk for diabetes. Twelve months and many cans of sardines later, only eight percent were. Moreover, the fish-eating group reduced their insulin resistance, raised their “good” cholesterol numbers, and lowered their blood pressure at higher rates than the control group.
Scientists believe that a big reason why sardines are so effective at reversing and preventing diabetes is because they contain nutrients like taurine, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and vitamin D, all of which play key roles in regulating blood sugar levels and protecting heart health.
Two cans of sardines weekly may be a lot for some folks, but the study is a great reminder of all of the amazing health benefits that can come from seafood. It may be a good time to take a look at your own diet and see what you can include. Sardines can add a meaty and salty kick to so many dishes, and it’s no wonder they’re a beloved food for people all over the world. And if you want to join the sardine craze but don’t necessarily want to consume two cans a week at first, putting them on toast or adding a few to a pizza are easy places to start!