Cheery Cherry News: Tart Cherries Improve Type 2 Diabetes in Rats

In a recent University of Michigan study, rats bred to develop highblood pressure, high cholesterol, and impaired glucose tolerancereceived a diet that included at least one percent freeze-driedpowdered whole tart cherries for a period of ninety days.

By the end of the study, the happy rats had lower totalcholesterol, lower blood sugar, less liver fat, higher antioxidantcapabilities, and increased PPAR (a molecule that helps the bodyhandle fat and sugar) than the unfortunate control rats who got nocherry powder.

Tart cherries, generally used in pies, juice, and jam, have highconcentrations of anti-oxidant anthocyanins, which have beenpreviously correlated with reductions in cardiovascular andmetabolic risk.

The researchers caution that studies of cherry-eating humans muststill be done; the University of Michigan is planning to carry outsuch a study soon, in addition to a further study of rats and achemical analysis of cherries.

In the meantime, you couldn't find a dietary recommendation moreeasily complied with. So, can you make a cherry pie? Use our recipeand get cooking! Or better yet, just pop those cherries in yourmouth and start spitting pits.

Source: University of Michigan, April 2007

Sugar-Free Cherry Pie Recipe

Makes 8 Servings 


  • Two 16-ounce cans of pitted tart cherries in water
  • One large box cook-and-serve sugar-free vanilla pudding mix
  • One small box sugar-free cherry gelatin
  • Sugar substitute to equal four teaspoons sugar
  • One baked 9-inch pastry shell


Drain cherries, reserving juice. Set the cherries aside. In asaucepan, combine the cherry juice and dry pudding mix. Cook andstir until the mixture comes to a boil and is thickened and bubbly.

Remove from heat, and stir in the gelatin powder and sweetener untildissolved. Stir in the cherries, then transfer the mixture to thepie shell. Cool completely, and store in the refrigerator.

Nutrition at a Glance (per serving):

  • Calories: 176
  • Sodium: 293 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Carbohydrate: 24 g
  • Protein: 3 g

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