The Mediterranean diet may slow the progression of diabetes even more than a low-fat diet, according to a new study reported in Diabetes Care.
The study, conducted by actual Mediterranean researchers at the University Hospital at the Second University of Naples in Italy, followed participants for more than eight years. The people who followed the Mediterranean diet went significantly longer before needing diabetes medication and more of them had their diabetes go into remission, compared to those on a low fat diet.
The key may be in the type of fat consumed. "One of the main aspects of the Mediterranean diet is the percentage of daily fat, which is higher than 30 percent of daily calories, however, the main fat is monounsaturated, usually from olive oil in the Mediterranean basin," Esposito told Reuters.
She and colleagues followed participants in a previous study who had been assigned either a low-fat, or Mediterranean diet when they were first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Both diets were aimed at preventing the disease from progressing and avoiding medicine for as long as possible.
At the six-year mark, all the people in the low-fat diet group had gone on diabetes medication, but it wasn't until the eight-year mark that all people in the Mediterranean diet group needed medication. They also lost more weight than the low-fat dieters.
This is just the most recent research that suggests that the Mediterranean diet just might be the Best Diet Ever. Other research exhorts the diet’s potential for helping us live longer, fight breast cancer, protect our arteries and preserve our memory.