In the beginning of the study, 37% of the group who ate sardines were considered at high risk for developing diabetes. But one year out, that percentage dropped to just 8%. Meanwhile, the group without sardines went from 27% being high risk in the beginning to 22% after a year.

The group eating sardines also saw improvements in their cholesterol levels, blood pressure, insulin resistance, and even hormones that speed up the body’s ability to break down sugar.

As the study’s lead researcher, Diana Diaz Rizzolo, Ph.D., notes in a news release, “Not only are sardines reasonably priced and easy to find, but they are safe and help to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. It is easy to recommend this food during medical checkups, and it is widely accepted by the population.”

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