The Mediterranean Diet Can Stop Diabetes

A Mediterranean-style diet rich in vegetables is already known to protect against heart disease. Now, researchers have found that it also appears to help ward off diabetes.

Food in the Mediterranean diet:
The main factor in the appeal of the Mediterranian diet is the full flavored and rich food. Hydrogenated oils and margarine are considered to be bland and lack the flavor that olive oil imparts to food items. It is not easy to understand and define the Mediterranean nutrition and diet. The traditional diets in southern Italy and Greece have been studied extensively over the past few years. This is because of the low incidence of chronic diseases and rates of high life expectancy that is attributed the traditional food in the Mediterranean diet. As much as 40% of total daily calories from fat is delivered by this diet, yet there has been a significant decrease in the incidences of cardiovascular diseases. This is because olive oil is a monounsaturated fatty acid, and does not have the same effect of raising cholesterol levels, compared to saturated fats. It is also a good source of antioxidants. The people of Mediterranean benefit a lot by eating fish, which they consume several times in a week. This increases the amount of omega-3 fatty acids. The consumption of red meat is also beneficial to health. According to a general consensus among health professionals, the Mediterranean diet is healthier than the American or North European diet due to the consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and grain-based food like spaghetti.

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A four-year study of 13,000 people showed that those who stuck closely to the diet were 83 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Even those who smoked, were older, and had a family history of diabetes experienced protective benefits from the Mediterranean diet.

The World Health Organization estimates more than 180 million people worldwide have diabetes. This number is likely to more than double by 2030, as more nations adopt a Western lifestyle.

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Sources:

* Reuters May 29, 2008
* British Medical Journal May 29, 2008

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