Partake of Some Prickly Pear Pad With That Burrito: It May Lower Post-Meal Glucose Rises in Type 2 Diabetes


By: Linda von Wartburg

Prickly pear pads, otherwise known as nopales, are a staple ofMexican cuisine: People in mid- to low socioeconomic populations inMexico tend to eat them about three times a week. Apparently they'repretty tasty when stripped of their prickles and boiled up inbite-sized pieces.

According to recent research in Diabetes Care, they mayalso reduce blood sugar rises by up to fifty percent after a meal ofMexican food.

The Diabetes Care study gathered 36 people with type 2diabetes, made them fast for 18 hours, and then fed the hungryvolunteers a delicious breakfast of either scrambled egg and tomatoburritos; chilaquiles (cheese, beans, and tomato sauce with corntortillas); or quesadillas with avocadoes and pinto beans. Someeaters got 85 grams of nopales as well.

Among the participants who ate nopales, those who'd chowed down onquesadillas had a 48 percent reduction in their after-meal bloodsugar rise compared to the non-nopales breakfasters. The chilaquileseaters had a 30 percent reduction in blood sugar, and the burritoconsumers had a 20 percent reduction.

Padding your Mexican meal with nopales, conclude the authors,could be a cheap and effective way to help lower blood glucose risesafter that irresistable quesadilla.

Source: Diabetes Care, May 2007



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