Mediterranean Diet Good for Diabetics

In 2009, Current Diabetes Reports published “The usefulness of a Mediterranean-based diet in individuals with type 2 diabetes,” by Catherine M. Champagne, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N. Unfortunately, the full article isn’t available to you at no cost. But I read it. Her article is a review of available scientific evidence related to the Mediterranean diet as applied to a diabetic population. Dr. Champagne wrote:

This diet is a viable treatment option; advisors should stress not only adherence to a fairly traditional Mediterranean eating plan but also a lifestyle that includes sufficient physical activity.

Dr. Champagne was very favorably impressed with the DIRECT trial of Shai et al, which I covered extensively elsewhere. DIRECT compared three diets over 24 months: Atkins, Mediterranean/calorie-restricted, and low-fat/calorie-restricted. Mind you, it was a weight loss study, but a fair number of diabetics participated. Mediterranean-style eating showed the most beneficial effects for diabetics.

I think the Mediterranean diet could be even healthier for people with diabetes if it had fewer carbohydrates. That’s why I composed the Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet.

Dr. Champagne also mentions evidence that a modified Mediterranean diet may help counteract the build-up of fat in the liver, seen in up to 70% of type 2 diabetics. I wrote recently about how a very-low-carb diet beat the low-fat diet so often recommended for this condition (hepatic steatosis or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease).

If you want full online access to Champagne’s 6-page article, you can purchase it for $34 (USD) at SpringerLink. I cite many of the same scientific sources and provide a whole lot more in my 216-page Conquer Diabetes and Prediabetes: The Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet, at Amazon.com for $16.95 or $9.99 (the Kindle edition) or in multiple ebook formats from Smashwords.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Reference: Champagne, Catherine (2009). The usefulness of a Mediterranean-based diet in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Current Diabetes Reports DOI: 10.1007/s11892-009-0060-3

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