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'Mediterranean'-Style Diet Best for Blood Sugar Control
Date:12/16/2008

Another study finds type 2 diabetes increases cancer death risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Chowing down on lentil soup and pasta seems to be the way to go if you have type 2 diabetes.

A new study found that a diet of "low-glycemic foods" -- such as beans, nuts, peas, lentils and pasta -- was superior to a high-cereal-fiber diet -- think pumpernickel, rye pita, quinoa, large flake oatmeal and oat bran -- when it comes to lowering blood sugar and other risk factors for heart disease in people with diabetes.

"These findings fit with the general tenor of what's gone before. The trouble is that those studies tended to be considerably smaller and for shorter periods of time, and they didn't always show the effects significantly," said study author Dr. David J.A. Jenkins, Canada research chair in nutrition and metabolism at the University of Toronto and St. Michael's Hospital in Canada. "I think this certainly supports a recommendation to people that this is an extra tool in the tool kit."

"This reemphasizes what we know -- at the end of the day, the best diet is the Mediterranean-type diet: nuts, beans, lentils, fruits, vegetables," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of Women and Heart Disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, and a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association. "The study didn't exactly call it a Mediterranean diet, but the components of it were Mediterranean."

A second study found that people who have type 2 diabetes when they are diagnosed with cancer face a greater risk of death compared to cancer patients without diabetes.

Both papers were published in the Dec. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The diabetes epidemic now affects some 20 million people in the United States alone, a staggering 7 percent of the population. The condition increases the risk for heart disease, cancer and other health problems.

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