`Modified Mediterranean Diet May Protect from Diabetes - Olive Oil Times

Modified Mediterranean Diet May Protect from Diabetes

By Elena Paravantes
Aug. 26, 2013 09:24 UTC


A new study pub­lished in the jour­nal Diabetologia sug­gests that a Mediterranean diet that is low in cer­tain car­bo­hy­drates can pro­tect from dia­betes.

Researchers from Italy, Greece, U.S. and Canada ana­lyzed data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), a study that inves­ti­gates the rela­tion­ships between diet, nutri­tional sta­tus, lifestyle and envi­ron­men­tal fac­tors and the inci­dence of can­cer and other chronic dis­eases, with par­tic­i­pants in over 10 European coun­tries.

The researchers assessed infor­ma­tion from over 22,000 Greek par­tic­i­pants who were fol­lowed for an aver­age of eleven years. Scientists mea­sured adher­ence to the Mediterranean diet and glycemic load (GL). Glycemic load is a mea­sure­ment of the amount of car­bo­hy­drate in a food and its impact on blood sugar lev­els. Foods such as veg­eta­bles, fats (such as olive oil), high fiber fruit and beans have low glycemic loads while processed foods, such as white bread, cakes, processed break­fast cere­als have a high glycemic load.

The results showed that inde­pen­dently a Mediterranean diet reduced the inci­dence of dia­betes. When cou­pled with a low glycemic load, the pro­tec­tion was greater, reach­ing 20 per­cent less risk com­pared to those who had a low com­pli­ance to the Mediterranean diet and high glycemic load diet.

As the researchers note, it is not dif­fi­cult to envi­sion a low glycemic load Mediterranean diet, as the diet is dom­i­nated by veg­eta­bles, olive oil, beans and fruit. The model of the Greek-Mediterranean diet that these par­tic­i­pants were most likely fol­low­ing, would be rich in veg­etable main course dishes, con­sist­ing of veg­eta­bles cooked in olive oil result­ing a mod­er­ate calo­rie dish with a low glycemic load score. One could mod­ify the diet to con­tain fewer car­bo­hy­drates by reduc­ing bread or pasta to achieve a lower glycemic load, while main­tain­ing the basic com­po­nents of the Mediterranean diet.


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