Mediterranean diet delays need for medication

Newly diagnosed diabetic subjects following a Mediterranean-style diet were able to delay the start of antihyperglycemic medications for at least three years and had better cholesterol profiles than subjects following a low-fat diet, according to an Italian study published in Annals of Internal Medicine [2009].

The Mediterranean diet was rich in vegetables and whole grains with no more than 50 percent of calories coming from complex carbohydrates and no less than 30 percent from fat, primarily olive oil. The low-fat diet was based on American Heart Association guidelines with no more than 30 percent of calories from fat and no more than 10 percent from saturated fat.

Subjects on the Mediterranean diet not only delayed the start of their diabetic medication but had greater increases in HDL cholesterol and greater decreases in LDL and triglycerides.

[SOURCE: K. Esposito, et al. “Effects of a Mediterranean-style diet on the need for antihyperglycemic drug therapy in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes: a randomized trial,” Annals of Internal Medicine, 2009;151:306-314]

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Last Updated December 15, 2011