New research has found that the Mediterranean diet may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The study published in the Journal of PLOS Medicine involved data from 340,234 people living in eight European countries, who followed either a Mediterranean diet , i.e. a regular diet. The research team looked at participants’ blood levels of certain elements, carotenoids and fatty acids, which helped them determine precisely who was following a Mediterranean diet. According to the analysis, the researchers found that greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with an 11% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
We spoke to Dr. Anurag Aggarwal, Internal Medicine Consultant, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabadto get a glimpse of the same.
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What is the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet is a diet that encourages plant-based foods and healthy fats. This includes vegetables, whole grains, fruits, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. This diet also involves a moderate amount of fish, especially fish high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Can the Mediterranean diet help reduce the risk of diabetes?
Dr Aggarwal said: “The Mediterranean diet has been shown to have several benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. Numerous studies have demonstrated its positive impact on glycemic control, cardiovascular health and the general well-being of people. people with type 2 diabetes.” He lists some key benefits, including:
Improved glycemic control
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats while limiting refined carbohydrates and sugary foods. According to Dr. Aggarwal, this diet has been shown to help control blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity, leading to better blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, the Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, which is a significant concern for people with type 2 diabetes. The diet’s emphasis on consuming monounsaturated fats from oil olive oil, nuts and seeds, as well as omega-3 fatty acids from fish, may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, improve HDL (good) cholesterol levels and reduce blood sugar. inflammation, all of it. that contribute to a healthier cardiovascular profile, the doctor said.
The Mediterranean diet encourages eating whole, nutrient-dense foods while discouraging processed, high-calorie foods. It promotes portion control and a balanced approach to eating, which can help with weight management. For people with type 2 diabetes who are overweight or obese, losing or maintaining weight is key to effectively managing their condition.
Reduced risk of complications
This diet also focuses on foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables and olive oil, which can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, known to play a role in the development of complications. diabetes. According to Dr. Aggarwal, by reducing these risk factors, the diet can help reduce the risk of complications associated with type 2 diabetes, such as diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease), retinopathy (eye disease) and neuropathy (nerve damage).
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Durability and adhesion
One of the strengths of the Mediterranean diet is its flexibility and flavor, which makes it easy to adopt and adhere to over the long term. Compliance and sustainability are critical factors in the success of any dietary intervention, and the Mediterranean diet’s emphasis on delicious and varied whole foods can help its long-term adoption, Dr. Aggarwal said.
In general, the Mediterranean diet is said to have several benefits. Since it is so rich in nutrients, it is said to keep chronic health issues at bay. However, if you are a diabetic patient, it is best to consult your doctor before venturing into any type of diet.