A health researcher in New Zealand, Marie Bento, has conducted a small-scale, personal study that indicates those Maori who eat eel could be better protected from becoming diabetic than those who do not.
Benton compared nine Maori people who regularly ate eel, and had a traditional diet and lifestyle, and nine people who ate a Western diet. She found that those of the first group did not become diabetics, and lived healthily. Of the second group, all developed diabetes and seven died.
Benton’s study extends to explore the level of diabetes amongst the Maori population and its explosion in recent years. She believes that long-finned eels, a traditional dietary mainstay, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, and this protects against diabetes. The Maori are also traditionally an active people, and the erosion of this lifestyle has exacerbated the diabetes epidemic.

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