An Apple A Day? Try Two Cans Of Sardines A Week, Research Suggests

mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer By Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.
Sardine Can on a Table

It's no secret that oily fish are a great source of omega-3s, calcium, and more. But according to new research published in Clinical Nutrition, one fish, in particular, may help to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Here's what the researchers found.

Studying sardines.

The study was conducted by researchers from Open University of Catalonia in Spain. They gathered 152 participants diagnosed with prediabetes and had each of them follow a nutrition plan to help lower their risk of diabetes onset.

One group specifically had the addition of 200 grams of sardines per week in their nutrition plan, which equates to two cans. They were encouraged to incorporate them into provided recipes and advised to eat them whole—bones and all—to get all the benefits.

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What they found.

In the beginning of the study, 37% of the group who ate sardines were considered at high risk for developing diabetes. But one year out, that percentage dropped to just 8%. Meanwhile, the group without sardines went from 27% being high risk in the beginning to 22% after a year.

The group eating sardines also saw improvements in their cholesterol levels, blood pressure, insulin resistance, and even hormones that speed up the body's ability to break down sugar.

As the study's lead researcher, Diana Diaz Rizzolo, Ph.D., notes in a news release, "Not only are sardines reasonably priced and easy to find, but they are safe and help to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. It is easy to recommend this food during medical checkups, and it is widely accepted by the population."

The takeaway.

Whether you're looking to reduce your risk of diabetes or just want to include more healthy fat and protein in your diet, sardines appear to be a good option. Not only are these little fish a sustainable seafood choice, but they're loaded with nutrients that help with everything from period cramps to vascular health. Give 'em a try in a salad, on toast, or in this delicious pasta puttanesca.

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