HomeHealthHow quinoa could help prevent diabetes?

How quinoa could help prevent diabetes?

Last week, I planted my tired body on the couch and watched some old episodes of the ABC series Jack Irish. In an episode from about 2016, I was amused by a reference from one of the ‘blokey’ characters to quinoa. His reference was somewhat disparaging, along the lines of, ‘What sort of woke food is this? Give me a meat pie any day.’

The character at least pronounced it correctly, ‘keen-waa’. As a meat pie-lover myself, I was pronouncing it ‘kwin-oh-wa’ before somebody corrected me.

The inference from the character was that quinoa was just another ‘fad’ food, whose time would pass. But recent research suggests it has many health benefits and should be a regular part of our diets.

Read: CSIRO Breakfast Quinoa Salad

In Spain, researchers at the Open University of Catalonia have found that quinoa – as well as being an excellent source of vitamins B, C and E – could play a role in preventing type 2 diabetes.

Thanks to western diets dominated by processed foods with a high sugar content, the incidence of type 2 diabetes continues to rise. Insulin released by the pancreas allows sugar to enter the body’s cells, but when we have too much sugar, the body ends up producing more and more insulin, gradually wearing out the pancreas and leaving blood sugar levels high, resulting in type 2 diabetes.

Read: Indian Quinoa with Chicken

Diana Díaz Rizzolo, professor and researcher in the faculty of health sciences at Catalonia University, initiated a study that involved prediabetic (the stage before diabetes is officially diagnosed) people over the age of 65.

The subjects were equipped with a continuous glucose monitor that measured the sugar in their blood every minute of the day, and they recorded what they ate. This allowed the team to see how their blood sugar levels varied after each meal.

After a month, the diets of participants were modified. Foods that were rich in complex carbohydrates – such as cereals, pulses, tubers and pasta – were replaced with either quinoa or quinoa-based foods, including newly developed products that contained quinoa flour and were very similar to the foods being replaced, such as bread, brioches, pasta, crackers and breadsticks.

Read: Scientists demonstrate promising new diabetes treatment

The results were very promising, said Prof. Rizzolo. “We compared the blood sugar patterns and found that when the participants had eaten quinoa, their blood sugar spike was lower than with their usual diet. This is crucial because these post-meal blood sugar spikes are a determining factor in the progression of type 2 diabetes.”

In further good news, the researchers also found that the quinoa-based diet helped control blood lipid levels, which is why they believe it could be useful in controlling high cholesterol and other factors associated with cardiac risk.

The take-away from all this? Quinoa may well be a ‘fad’ food for some, but it’s one fad food that deserves to remain popular. It may just help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Are you quinoa lover? Do you have any recipes to recommend? Why not share your experience and thoughts in the comments section below?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Andrew Gigacz
Andrew Gigaczhttps://www.patreon.com/AndrewGigacz
Andrew has developed knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income and government entitlements, as well as issues affecting older Australians moving into or living in retirement. He's an accomplished writer with a passion for health and human stories.
- Our Partners -


- Advertisment -


- Advertisment -

Log In

Forgot password?

Don't have an account? Register

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.