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

Note: Cherries can cause blood sugar to rise, so be sure to keep tabs on it with your meter.

| Jun 15, 2007

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

By the end of the study, the happy rats had lower total cholesterol, lower blood sugar, less liver fat, higher antioxidant capabilities, and increased PPAR (a molecule that helps the body handle fat and sugar) than the unfortunate control rats who got no cherry powder.

Tart cherries, generally used in pies, juice, and jam, have high concentrations of anti-oxidant anthocyanins, which have been previously correlated with reductions in cardiovascular and metabolic risk.

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

In the meantime, you couldn't find a dietary recommendation more easily complied with. So, can you make a cherry pie? Use our recipe and get cooking! Or better yet, just pop those cherries in your mouth 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 a saucepan, combine the cherry juice and dry pudding mix. Cook and stir until the mixture comes to a boil and is thickened and bubbly.

Remove from heat, and stir in the gelatin powder and sweetener until dissolved. Stir in the cherries, then transfer the mixture to the pie 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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Categories: Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes, Food News, Nutrition Research, Type 2 Issues

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