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Associations of vegetable and potato intakes with markers of type 2 diabetes risk in the AusDiab cohort.

CONTEXT: The associations of vegetable and potato intakes with type 2 diabetes (T2D) appear to be nuanced, depending on vegetable types and preparation method, respectively.

OBJECTIVE: We investigated the associations of total vegetable, vegetable subgroup, and potato intakes with 1) markers of T2D at baseline and 2) incident T2D cumulative over a 12-year follow-up period in Australian adults.

METHODS: Using data from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study, intakes of vegetables and potatoes were assessed via a food frequency questionnaire at baseline. Associations between vegetable intake and 1) fasting plasma glucose (FPG), 2-hour post load plasma glucose (PLG), updated homeostasis model assessment of β-cell function (HOMA2-%β), HOMA2 of insulin sensitivity (HOMA2-%S), and fasting insulin levels at baseline and 2) cumulative incident T2D at the end of 12-year follow-up were examined using generalized linear and Cox proportional hazards models, respectively.

RESULTS: In total, 8,009 participants were included having median age of 52 years, and vegetable intake of 132 g/day. Higher intake of total vegetable, green leafy, yellow/orange/red, and moderate intakes of cruciferous vegetables was associated with lower PLG. Additionally, higher green leafy vegetable intake was associated with lower HOMA2-%β and serum insulin. Conversely, higher potato fries/chips intakes were associated with higher FPG, HOMA2-%β, serum insulin, and lower HOMA2-%S. Participants with moderate cruciferous vegetables intake had a 25% lower risk of T2D at the end of 12 years follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: A higher intake of vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables, may improve while consuming potato fries/chips, but not potatoes prepared in a healthy way, may worsen glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Our findings suggest a nuanced relationship between vegetable subgroups and their impact on glucose tolerance.

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