To assess which type of diet might help people with type 2 diabetes better manage their condition, Giugliano and his colleagues compared 107 people on a low-fat diet to 108 who were eating a Mediterranean diet.
"The Mediterranean-type diet is a diet high in plant foods, such as fruits, nuts, legumes and cereals, and fish, with olive oils as the primary source of monounsaturated fat and low to moderate intake of wine, as well as low intake of red meat and poultry," he said.
All of the study participants had just recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and they stayed in the study for four years. This study wasn't "blinded," which means that the researchers who were responsible for prescribing medications also knew who was in which dietary group.
After four years, 26 percent fewer people needed to go on diabetes medication in the Mediterranean diet, compared to the low-fat group. That translates into a 37 percent decreased risk of needing medication for the Mediterranean diet group, according to the study.
At the end of the study, weight as measured by body-mass index (BMI) was down 1.2 points for those in the Mediterranean diet group compared to 0.9 for the low-fat diet group, the study found. Cholesterol levels and blood pressure readings were also more improved in the Mediterranean diet group vs. the low-fat group.
"Everyone is looking for a magic bullet, but really the only magic bullet for diabetes is carbohydrate counting," said registered dietician and certified diabetes educator Carolyn Grubb, from the Scott & White Specialty Clinic, in Round Rock, Texas. "You need to find something you can live with and stay with. There's no one-size-fits-all in diabetes. Most patients do best with as little change as possible."
So, if you like these foods and think a Mediterranean die
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