Mediterranean Diet Tames Diabetes
The Greek philosopher, Plato, said The good is beautiful. Indeed, he might have been talking about the healthy plate of food in front of him. The traditional Mediterranean diet -- laden with fresh vegetables, fiber-rich grains, legumes, fish, and plant-based sources of unsaturated fat such as olive oil and nuts, while being low in red meat and high-fat dairy - is also an excellent way to keep diabetes at bay.
In fact, a recent study shows the Mediterranean diet may be an important aid in helping those fifty and older, lower their risk of adult onset diabetes even without exercising or losing pounds.
According to a report in the journal Diabetes Care, researchers at the University of Rovira i Virgili in Reus, Spain, followed 418 adults between the ages of 55 and 80, each of whom had at least three risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure or smoking. The patients were randomly assigned to one of three diets: a Mediterranean diet with an emphasis on more consumption of olive oil, the same diet with a focus on getting unsaturated fats from nuts, and a diet cutting all types of fat.
None of the subjects were told to limit their intake of calories, nor exercise any differently.
At the end of the study, the researchers concluded that those patients following a traditional Mediterranean diet were less likely to develop diabetes over the course of four years than those patients who were told to follow a low-fat diet. Ten to 11 percent of those in the two Mediterranean groups had developed diabetes, compared to 18 percent of those in the low-fat diet group. None of the groups were told to change any other lifestyle habits.
Although the healthy Mediterranean diet is an excellent option in the fight against Diabetes, experts in the field warn that ignoring exercise and calories is not a good practice. Plus, olive oil, they caution, is not a magic bullet against diabetes.