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Mediterranean Diet May Be Best for Type 2 Diabetes
Date:8/31/2009

Reduced need for meds, helped some lose weight compared to low-fat diet,,,,

MONDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- The Mediterranean diet, long touted as a healthy eating plan, may help people with type 2 diabetes stay off blood sugar-lowering medications, as well as help them lose weight and lower cardiovascular risk factors.

Those are the major findings from Italian researchers who found that while 70 percent of people with type 2 diabetes following a low-fat diet eventually needed diabetes medications, just 44 percent of those following the Mediterranean diet needed such drugs.

"Eating Mediterranean prevented anti-hyperglycemic drug therapy in about one-third of patients," said study author Dr. Dario Giugliano, a professor of endocrinology and metabolic diseases at the Second University of Naples in Italy. He called the diet, "a safe and tasty means to delay the introduction of anti-diabetic drug therapy in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetic people."

Beyond its ability to help control blood sugar, "the Mediterranean diet has been associated with a number of healthful outcomes, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and mortality," Giugliano added. "Given that patients with type 2 diabetes still have a twofold risk of death as compared to the non-diabetic population, these potential benefits are intriguing," he noted.

Results of the study are published in the September issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Type 2 diabetes is fast becoming a pandemic, with as many as 380 million cases estimated by 2025, according to background information in the study. However, lifestyle changes can help prevent the disease and possibly reverse its course when instigated soon after diagnosis. Regular exercise and changes in diet are among the most important lifestyle changes that can help manage type 2 diabetes.

Although dietary modification is recommended, little research has
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