Mediterranean Diet May Lower Your Risk of Diabetes: Fruits, Veggies and Whole Grains

Mar 28, 2014 07:13 AM EDT | By Staff Writer

Want to lower your risk of diabetes? Then you might want to try out the Mediterranean diet. Researchers have found that the adoption of a Mediterranean diet is actually linked to a lower risk of the disease-especially among people at high risk for cardiovascular disease.

In order to see the effects of a Mediterranean diet, the scientists pooled analysis of other studies evaluating the diet. In the end, they found that those who had a Mediterranean diet had a 21 percent reduced risk of diabetes. In addition, this reduced risk was even higher among those at risk for cardiovascular disease; they were 27 percent less likely to develop diabetes.

"Adherence to the Mediterranean diet may prevent the development of diabetes irrespective of age, sex, race or culture," said Demosthenes Panagiotakos, one of the researchers, in a news release. "This diet has a beneficial effect, even in high risk groups, and speaks to the fact that it is never too late to start eating a healthy diet."

So what is a Mediterranean diet? It emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, fish, olive oil and occasionally a glass of red wine. By sticking to this diet, you could potentially lower your risk for diabetes.

This, in particular, is important considering the rise in the number of diabetes cases. In fact, diabetes cases have doubled worldwide in the past 30, and has been associated with the growing obesity epidemic.

"Diabetes is an ongoing epidemic and its relation to obesity, especially in the Westernized populations, is well known," said Panagiotakos in a news release. "We have to do something to prevent diabetes and changing our diet may be an effective treatment."

Want to be healthier? Eat up. It turns out that the Mediterranean diet can do a lot more good for your health than you might have thought.

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