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Chile Peppers May Offer Support for People with Diabetes

Bell peppers and other sweet peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, with one medium green pepper supplying around 90 mg. That’s one and a half times the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of this important nutrient. Even a small pepper will do the trick by supplying 60 mg of vitamin C, exactly the RDA for men and women. If you have diabetes, getting enough vitamin C is an important goal. Controlled trials suggest vitamin C may help people keep their blood sugar levels in a healthier range. And in one trial of people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes who were being counseled in an effort to improve their health, those who made dietary changes that increased vitamin C blood levels had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, compared with people not taking these steps to improve their diet.

Chile peppers also contain a substance called capsaicin, and for people with diabetes, this substance may offer some support for addressing a key goal of diabetes management: maintaining a healthy body weight. Controlled clinical studies suggest that adding chiles to a weight loss diet may improve the amount of weight a person loses above and beyond the diet alone. Another unexpected benefit is that chiles appear to increase satiety—a feeling of fullness after eating. More satiety means less desire to eat again soon after a meal, potentially aiding efforts to maintain a healthier body weight.

Both of these things are important, because according to the American Diabetes Association's Position Statement on Nutrition Therapy Recommendations for the Management of Adults With Diabetes, “For overweight or obese adults with type 2 diabetes, reducing energy intake while maintaining a healthful eating pattern is recommended to promote weight loss.” This recommendation receives an A grade, indicating the highest level of evidence supports it.

Source: American Diabetes Association

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