Mediterranean diet gets more positive press reducing Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) risk by 30%. Lower carbohydrate-higher healthy fat approach to eating seems to favor better blood sugar levels to stop prediabetes
Adults at high risk for cardiovascular disease who ate an olive oil rich Mediterranean diet experienced a reduced risk for T2DM compared with what was supposed to be a low-fat diet, but evidently was not due to poor compliance.
The results were derived from a subgroup of older persons with high cardiovascular risk from the Spanish cardiovascular prevention study Prevencion con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED), and were published January 6, 2014 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
It should be noted that the study subjects were not calorie-restricted and were not given any instructions regarding physical activity.
The authors define the Mediterranean diet as one that is higher in fat than many diets at 30% to 40% of total calories. A good portion of those fat calories come from vegetable sources such as olive oil and nuts and it is relatively low in dairy products. The diet also tends to be rich in tomato sauces, onions, garlic, spices and moderate wine consumption.
The beneficial cardiovascular and cardiometabolic effects of the Mediterranean diet are believed to be due to its inclusion of ingredients containing various minerals, polyphenols, and other phytochemicals that combat oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance. Not to mention that diets higher in carbohydrates than the Mediterranean diet are more inclined to drive up blood sugar levels. The Mediterranean diet is generally a lower glycemic-load diet that is less inclined to spike blood sugar levels thereby exerting less cardiometabolic risk.
As one of the study authors put it, “Diet changes can be quite powerful for improving health.” Now if more people really understood that, believed that, and practiced that, perhaps we would not be in the midst of obesity, #prediabetes and diabetes epidemics.