Sugar BowlHere comes another disease the Mediterranean diet may prevent! In a study published in July 25, 2011 in the “Diabetes Care” journal, it is said that an Imperial College London study has found that following a Mediterranean diet can help reduce the risk of Diabetes 2 or Diabetes Mellitus!

The researchers said that the people who strictly follow the Mediterranean diet can down their chances for getting diabetes by 12 percent.

In this study, 340,000 people from different parts of Europe were examined and 11,994 of them had incidences of type 2 diabetes.  It was also said that those people who had “medium adherence” to the Mediterranean diet has up to 7% reduced risk of acquiring Type 2 diabetes.

But it must be noted that the study is not that applicable for people younger than 50 and obese.

What is Type 2 Diabetes, Anyway?

It is estimated that as of today, there are about 20 million Americans who live with Type 2 diabetes. It is a condition wherein even though a person can produce the insulin needed in the body, the insulin isn’t able to efficiently deal with the blood sugar.

The semi-good news is that the mortality rate for type 2 diabetes is not that high. But there are several complications that may arise from it:

– Heart disease and stroke
– High blood pressure
– Blindness
– Kidney disease
– Nervous system disease (Neuropathy)
– Amputation

Right now, there is no cure for the disease, but it can be controlled using diabetes drugs.

It is believed that a person’s lifestyle is very dependent on their risk to get diabetes mellitus (another name for type 2 diabetes)

The Role of the Mediterranean Diet

As we all know, the Mediterranean diet is one of the safest and healthiest diets in the world. And now that you know it can help prevent diabetes, it is anything but unexpected to ask: how about those who already have type 2 diabetes?

Well, you’ll be glad to know that the Mediterranean diet can work its magic here. There was a study in Italy that showed that people who already had type 2 diabetes who followed the Mediterranean diet were able to manage the effects of their disease easily. It is also reported that after four years from acquiring the Mediterranean diet, only 44% of the people who had the diseases required diabetes medication. This is very low compared to the 70% of people who didn’t follow the diet.

Keeping the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and fish. If you are interested in the Mediterranean diet, here are some guidelines that will help you make sure you are in keeping with all the “rules” behind the Mediterranean diet.

1. High consumption of extra virgin olive oil.
2. High intake of vegetables and fruits and legumes.
3. Consumption of fish at least three times a week.
4. Consumption of milk and other milk derivatives.
5. Three or four eggs per week.
6. One or two small glasses of red wine a day.
7. Nuts as snacks.

Now that you understand how big a role your lifestyle (specifically, diet) plays in your health and in reducing the risk for illnesses such as diabetes, you can now go out there and plan your own Mediterranean diet meals and dishes.

In our world today, nothing is more important than making sure that we keep a healthy and balanced lifestyle- something you can achieve with the Mediterranean diet.

You can get started with the (from yours truly) traditional Mediterranean diet recipes or you can do nothing. I’ll leave THAT decision up to you…

I hope this article has been of interest or some help.

Ray Baker