A new 4-year study from Spain shows that people who followed a Mediterranean diet reduced their chances of getting diabetes by almost 50%. People in the study had at least three risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, smoking or excess weight.
This reduced risk of developing diabetes occurred even if they didn’t lose weight or exercise. This is great news, because diabetes damages blood vessels and can cause devastating complications such heart attack, stroke, impotence, blindness, amputation, and kidney failure.
The Mediterranean diet is notable in some of the following ways:
- high consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds
- olive oil is an important monounsaturated fat source
- dairy products, fish and poultry are consumed in low to moderate amounts, and little red meat is eaten
- eggs are consumed zero to four times a week
- wine is consumed in low to moderate amounts
I eat sardines or salmon (canned; wild) almost every day for lunch and dinner. I don’t use butter, but I add a teaspoon of olive oil to my green veggies as well for lunch and dinner. I sometimes eat beans. I avoid sugar; I eat brown rice or sweet potatoes for carbohydrates. I add protein with protein powder or eggs whites for breakfast.