Hacking Your Diet With Herbs and Spices

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Cinnamon: For Your Cholesterol
Matthew O'Shea / Getty Images4/5

Cinnamon: For Your Cholesterol

Cinnamon has long been studied for its effects on blood sugars in patients with Type 2 diabetes. While the studies have been small, show conflicting results, and are not all done on humans, the trend among them has been an association with lower fasting blood sugar and improved lipid panels. No significant effect has been shown on hemoglobin A1c, which represents blood sugar control over time. To reap any potential benefits, though, it’s not accomplished by a dusting on the occasional breakfast roll. The amounts used in the studies ranged from roughly 1/16 teaspoon to 2 1/4 teaspoons per day for four to 18 weeks.

How to eat cinnamon: Shake liberally into coffee, oatmeal, and smoothies, and add to recipes with a Middle Eastern flavor profile. Throw a cinnamon stick into tea, since the beneficial part is water-soluble and not destroyed by heat.

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