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Mediterranean Diet for Diabetes Patients

Data reviewed from over 20 sources compare the effects of seven popular diets among adults with type 2 diabetes. Findings indicate that Mediterranean diets, low-carb diets, high protein diets, and low glycemic index diets – which rank foods by how quickly their carbs turn into glucose – all lowered the participants’ blood sugar.

After six months, however, those under the Mediterranean diet plan also lost an average of 4 pounds, where no other diet had a significant impact on weight, according to the findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“We were quite surprised by the Mediterranean diet in particular,” Dr. Olubukola Ajala, a diabetes specialist at Western Sussex Hospitals in the UK, told Reuters Health. “I would have thought that low-carb would have been the best for losing weight, but Mediterranean seems to be better.”

Low-carb, low-glycemic, and Mediterranean diets all led to a rise in “good” cholesterol by 4 percent to 10 percent, while triglycerides decreased by 9 percent.

Even so, the Mediterranean diet is not the only way to achieve weight loss and improve heart health, said Katherine Zeratsky, a registered dietitian at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who was not involved in the study. She adds that it’s more important to take a balanced approach, eating moderate portions and talking to a doctor before embarking on a plan.

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