Mediterranean Diet Prevents Diabetes, But Why?

June 04, 2008 05:59 AM
by Rachel Balik
Researchers in Spain found that the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, but the reasons are unclear.

30-Second Summary

Long touted as a way for reducing the risk of heart disease, the Mediterranean diet is now linked to type 2 diabetes prevention. “Our prospective cohort study suggests that substantial protection against diabetes can be obtained with the traditional Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals, legumes, and fish but relatively low in meat and dairy products," the study’s researchers said.

The study has faced some criticism because it derived its results from a questionnaire, and the accuracy of self-reported information is not verifiable. However, after 4.4 years, those participants who said they followed a Mediterranean diet were 83 percent less likely to develop the disease.

The results of this study correlate with other findings. Although researchers have yet to understand exactly why, the Mediterranean diet is linked with reducing the risk of heart disease and even asthma in children. The connection is unclear but the results are not: “The message of the [asthma] study is that foods with high antioxidant levels are good for you,” researcher Dr. Paul Cullinan said.

Some experts believe olive oil is the essential component of the diet, while others stress the benefits of reducing red meat intake. Reducing meat consumption has become important for those seeking a healthier lifestyle, as emphasized by the flexitarian diet.

Headline Link: ‘Mediterranean Diet May Ward Off Type 2 Diabetes’

Background: Mediterranean diet may help prevent other diseases

Related Topic: Reducing meat consumption

Reference: The Mediterranean diet; guide to diabetes

The Mediterranean diet
Diabetes resources

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