Diabetes Management: Adopting a Mediterranean Diet

A Mediterranean diet provides plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and monounsaturated fats should not exceed more than 40% of the total calorie consumption. However, if you are a diabetic, you may be researching to see if the Mediterranean diet is a healthy diet for you to follow.

What The Studies Say About The Mediterranean Diet for Diabetics

There have been studies taken to see how this type of diet affects diabetics. Here are a few findings.

It reduces weight and lowers fasting blood sugar levels.

Study findings published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that those who followed a Mediterranean diet lost more weight than those study participants who followed a low-fat diet. Study participants who ate the low-fat diet were able to lose 6.4 pounds and those who followed the Mediterranean Diet over the same period lost approx. 10 pounds. Out of the 322 participants, 36 had diabetes. After two years, those who were on the Mediterranean diet were the only ones who experienced a reduction in their fasting blood glucose levels.

It lowers HbA1c levels.

There is evidence to show that the Mediterranean diet helps not just in the prevention of type 2 diabetes, but also in reducing HbA1c levels.

It lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides

This diet has been found helpful in lowering blood pressure levels and improving triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
Experts also say that the Mediterranean diet can enhance the functioning of the inner walls of the blood vessels and lead to the reduction of inflammation that can also be present in the blood vessels.

It lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

An Australian study that had 40,000 men and women as participants, it showed that those who consumed recommended foods from the Mediterranean diet were found to have lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease up to 30%. The participants of this study were aged between 40 to 69 and the study was performed over a 10 year period. The diabetic men and women of the study were able to reduce their risk of heart disease up to an impressive 79%.

A separate study suggested that this type of diet can help lower the risk of heart disease because it can reduce systolic blood pressure levels, plasma glucose levels, and blood lipid levels.

It lowers the risk of many diabetes complications.

Diabetes is known to increase your risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases. A Mediterranean diet will greatly lower your risk of developing other diabetes complications. Lowering your risk for further complications is a huge benefit and worth your consideration of following this diet.

It may prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

A study of 14,000 healthy individuals over a 4.5 year period, showed that those who followed this diet or one very similar to the Mediterranean diet reduced their risk of developing diabetes up to 83%. These findings were published in the British Medical Journal.

Some of the Foods Allowed on the Mediterranean Diet

Whole Grains

Good sources of whole grains are farro, buckwheat, brown rice, quinoa, and barley. A Mediterranean diet allows you to eat tortillas, pasta, and rolls, just always choose the whole-grain versions.

Legumes, Nuts, and Seeds

Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, kidney beans, and lentils will become some of your staples on this diet.

Fruits and Vegetables

Some of the best choices of vegetables include Brussels sprouts, avocados, olives, asparagus, eggplants, cucumbers, and other leafy greens. Fruits such as berries, dates, grapes, melons, apples, and pomegranates are excellent options.

Mediterranean dieters rarely eat red meat and use only vegetable and plant oils for cooking, such as olive oil. They rely on herbs and spices for flavoring their dishes. Examples of these include saffron, cumin, garlic, rosemary, basil, chili powder, ginger, mint, and oregano.

If this diet sounds like it would suit you, then speak to your nutritionist or doctor. It certainly may be just what the doctor orders!

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