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Mediterranean Diet recommended for Diabetics

Diabetics should maintain a diet that is rich in fish, fruits, nuts and olive oil if they want to lose more weight and live longer without their blood sugar-lowering medication.

Previous studies have already suggested the Mediterranean diet may deter second heart attack episodes, impede Alzheimer’s disease, and decrease the risk of developing cancer.

The new study randomly assigned 215 overweight people with type 2 diabetes to either a low-fat diet or a low-carbohydrate Mediterranean diet. Four years after, researchers from the second University of Naples in Italy reported that only 44 percent of the people who had a Mediterranean diet needed blood sugar-lowering medication as compared to the 70 percent of the participants enrolled in the low-fat diet.

Tagged as the most common form of the disease, type 2 diabetes affects more than 20 million people in the United States. As compared to type 1 diabetes patients, those with type 2 can sometimes keep blood sugar levels in the safe range with diet and exercise alone. Diabetes pills and insulin injections are options to manage their blood sugar levels.
“The people on the Mediterranean diet had better blood sugar control because of the diet, and the trigger for diabetic drugs is when blood sugar is higher than you want it to be,” explained Dr. Christine Laine.

Basically, a Mediterranean diet includes vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, and healthy fats, such as olive oil. The study allows women on the diet with 1,500 calories per day, and men with 1,800 calories per day. The cardinal rule of
Mediterranean diet is that no more than 50 percent of calories could come from carbohydrates which comes in the form of fruits, pasta, and other healthy (and unhealthy) foods, and are largely responsible for the rise in blood sugar after eating.

Meanwhile, the study referred to the low-fat diet formulated by the American Heart Association This diet is rich in whole grains and low in fatty foods and sweets. Women were restricted to 1,500 calories, and men were allowed 1,800 calories; no more than 30 percent of calories could come from fat. After a year, those on the Mediterranean diet lost an average of 13.6 pounds after a year as compared to 9.2 pounds in the low-fat diet group.

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