Mediterranean Diet Comes First in Low Fat Diets for Diabetics

A low carbohydrate, Mediterranean type of diet is more effective than your usual low fat, calorie controlled diet for diabetes management, so say the findings of a study published yesterday.
The Mediterranean diet led to greater weight loss and it resulted in better blood sugar control, staggered the need for blood sugar-lowering medication and improved certain heart disease risk factors, so the researchers discovered.
Mediterranean-style eating usually involves eating lots of fruits, veg and whole grains, restricted quantities of red meat and processed foods, and a quite a lot of fat from olive oil and nuts and a few carbohydrates. The normal low fat diet involves avoiding all kinds of dietary fat.
Both Mediterranean and low fat diets are advised for weight loss in overweight or obese patients who have type 2 diabetes . Nonetheless, there have been hardly any comparative studies of the two diets.
Therefore, Dr. Dario Giugliano, from the Second University of Naples, Italy, and fellow associates randomly assigned 215 type 2 diabetic patients to adhere to either a low carbohydrate, Mediterranean style diet or a low fat diet over a period of four years.
Dietitians and nutritionists counselled both groups of patients in every month for the first year and every couple of months for the following three years.
After four years, 44 percent of diabetics on the Mediterranean-style diet needed medication to lower their blood sugar in contrast to 70 percent on the low-fat diet group.
After a year, diabetics on the Mediterranean diet also experienced higher weight loss . The absolute difference in weight loss between the two groups was -2.0 kg (-4.4 lbs). The Mediterranean dieters also had slimmer waistlines.
Moreover, there had been greater increases in “good” HDL-cholesterol levels and greater falls in harmful blood fats called triglycerides amongst the Mediterranean dieters group which were sustained throughout the period of the study.
The researchers confirmed that these findings reinforce the message that lifestyle improvements ought not to be overlooked.

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