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Mediterranean Diet Reduces Diabetes Risk
7 Mar. 2014

Mediterranean Diet food-pyramidAccording to a new study, held by Spanish researchers, a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil is capable to reduce the risk of diabetes in adults at risk of cardiac disease.

About 3 500 adults at risk of cardiac disease participated in the study. They were grouped into 3 subgroups in which they had to keep to a Mediterranean diet with olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts and a common low-fat diet. They were not instructed in restricting caloric intake or enhancing physical activity.

The subjects of the first group were allowed to take about 3 tablespoonfuls of olive oil a day. The subjects of the second group could eat hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds in quantity of an ounce a day.

The subjects of all the groups were middle-aged and elderly people aged between 55 and 80. The investigation lasted for 4 years and in the follow-up observation 80 people from the first group developed type II diabetes, whereas a number of diseased people from the other two groups was higher – 92 in the second group and 101 in the third group respectively.

After a thorough investigation of factors that could provoke diabetes, the researchers concluded that the risk of diabetes in the first group was reduced by 40% compared to the third group. Subjects of the second group reduced the risk by 18%, which was considered statistically insignificant.

The study findings were published on January the 7th in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Scientists agree that it is good news as the study findings suggest that you can lower the risk of diabetes by selecting the right diet. Nevertheless, doctors hope that the research findings won’t discourage people from exercising and calorie restriction as far as overweight is the key risk factor for type II diabetes and exercise along with a diet help to control weight. It is better to count calories and add exercising to the Mediterranean diet to lower the diabetes risk still more.

Diabetes, which incidence has doubled in the recent 30 years affects people worldwide. Diabetics suffer from insulin insufficiency their body doesn’t produce and have problem controlling the blood sugar level. If unattended, the disease may result in to kidney failure, blindness, gangrene and amputation.

Connie Diekman from Washington University says that ‘the study manifests the power of plant food’. She considers the most important message of the study to be ‘the value of Mediterranean diet to satiety and general health’. Inclusion of plant food together with olive oil instead of solid fats use gives a broader variety of phytonutrients that strengthen health, promote metabolism and provide a sense of fullness – all key things of weight control, she says.

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