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Magnesium and Diabetes Risk

Less-than-optimal magnesium levels are linked to diabetes risk.

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Food sources of magnesium for diabetes prevention

Diet surveys suggest that only about half of Americans consume the recommended amount of magnesium from their diets—a trend that may play a role in the escalating diabetes rates.

Adults in China who had a lower concentration of blood magnesium, an indication of suboptimal intake, had a 29% greater risk for type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance, compared with those who had normal serum magnesium levels. This was recently reported by researchers in Nutrients.

The study included data from 5,044 participants who were followed for an average of 5.8 years. In the body, some of the enzyme reactions that require magnesium may influence insulin functioning and blood glucose control. These magnesium-rich foods can help you make sure you are getting enough:

  • pumpkin seeds
  • spinach
  • tofu
  • almonds
  • black beans
  • edamame
  • cashews
  • chia seeds
  • peanut butter
  • salmon
  • dark chocolate
  • whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, etc.)

See also: Yes, Magnesium Deserves More Respect

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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