Adults at risk for heart disease who eat a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil can lower their chances of developing diabetes, even without restricting calories or boosting exercise, new research suggests. In the study, Spanish researchers followed more than 3,500 older adults at high risk of heart disease. The researchers assigned them to one of three groups: a Mediterranean diet with extra-virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts, or a low-fat diet, which served as the comparison. They did not get special instructions on losing weight or increasing their physical activity. A Mediterranean diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish, besides the olive oil.
Adoption of a Mediterranean diet is linked to a lower risk of diabetes, especially among people at high risk for cardiovascular disease, according to research to be presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session.
Data from the first pooled analysis of studies evaluating the possible role of the Mediterranean diet on diabetes development show that adherence to this diet was associated with a 21 percent reduced risk of diabetes as compared to the control dietary groups. This reduced risk was even more pronounced among people at high risk for cardiovascular disease among whom diabetes prevention is especially critical. The analysis showed that patients in this subgroup were almost 27 percent less likely to develop diabetes compared to controls.
“Adherence to the Mediterranean diet may prevent the development of diabetes irrespective of age, sex, race or culture,” said Demosthenes Panagiotakos, Ph.D., professor at Harokopio University, Athens, Greece, …
This diet scores big for heart health. Studies suggest it can make you less likely to get heart disease, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and may also help you avoid certain cancers and chronic diseases. For weight loss, you’ll have better results if you stick with it more than six months, get regular exercise, and cut back on how much you eat. Studies show it may be better for weight loss than a low-fat diet.
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