Mediterranean Diets Can Help Reduce Diabetes Risk

Many people find dieting and cutting calories hard work, however there is a way to adopt a new Mediterranean type of diet without cutting back the calories to help protect against diabetes.

Adopting a diet rich in extra-virgin olive oil may help protect people against heart disease and diabetes, researchers recently did a study on 3,500 people at risk from heart disease and found that those put on a Mediterranean diet were at least 30% less likely to contract diabetes over the following 4 years compared to those on a normal low fat diet.

Mediterranean diet pyramid

A healthy Mediterranean diet can seriously reduce the risk of diabetes.

Dr. Jordi Salas-Salvado of Reuters health emailed in with this: ‘Random trials promoting weight loss can reduce type-2 diabetes, however dietary changes without extra physical activity or calorie restriction have not been evaluated previously’.

Mediterranean diets are also high in vegetables, legumes, fish, plant based unsaturated fat and fiber rich grains. these diets are low in saturated fats from red meat and high fat dairy products.

These diets are known to be beneficial to people with heart disease, Mediterranean diets are also known to help reduce inflammation throughout the body and have some impact on diabetes.

Type-2 diabetes is when the body’s cells become resistant to insulin and the body stops producing enough of the hormone so glucose remains in the blood and can go dangerously high. Insulin gives glucose to the body or blood sugar and gives access to the body’s cells so fuel can be used.

From 2003 until 2009 a new study was published in the Annals of internal medicine using existing trial data that compared Mediterranean diets to low fat ones, 3,541 Spaniards took part aged 55-80, at the start of the trial none of the participants had diabetes but all had three or more risk factors regarding

heart disease, this includes smoking, high cholesterol and being overweight.

Mediaterranean diet selection

This sort of diet will not only reduce health risks like diabetes but also make you feel and look a whole lot better.

Each participant was given one of three diets, one of which was a Mediterranean diet consisting of unsaturated fat from extra virgin oil, another of the diets chosen was again a Mediterranean diet using mixed nuts as a high natural source of unsaturated fat, the third and final diet consisted of drastically cutting all fat consumption.

None of the diets asked the participants to cut down there calorie intake however. After 4 years 273 of the participants got diabetes which included 6.9% of the group from the extra virgin olive oil group, 7.4% from the mixed nut group and 8.8% from the reduced fat group.

Salas-Salvado stated that ‘the difference between the two Mediterranean diets could be a coincidence because they both have high natural unsaturated fats linked to reduced diabetes risk’.

He also stated that adopting one of these Mediterranean diets whilst reducing calories will also reduce the risk further.

The message here is it is never too late to switch to a much healthier calorie controlled Mediterranean diet to help reduce the risk of diabetes.

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