Spanish researchers report that the Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 50% in middle-aged and older Spaniards, compared with a low-fat diet.
Over 400 people participated in a trial comparing two Mediterranean diets and a low-fat diet. Over the course of four years, 10 or 11% of the Mediterraneans developed type 2 diabetes, compared to 18% of the low-fatters. One of the Mediterranean diets favored olive oil, the other promoted nut consumption.
We’ve seen previously that the Mediterranean diet prevents diabetes—not all cases, of course—in folks who have had a heart attack. It also reduced the risk of diabetes in younger, generally healthy people in Spain.
The study at hand is not ground-breaking. It expands the body of evidence that the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest around.
Reference: Salas-Salvado, J., Bullo, M., Babio, N., Martinez-Gonzalez, M., Ibarrola-Jurado, N., Basora, J., Estruch, R., Covas, M., Corella, D., Aros, F., Ruiz-Gutierrez, V., Ros, E., & , . (2010). Reduction in the Incidence of Type 2-Diabetes with the Mediterranean Diet: Results of the PREDIMED-Reus Nutrition Intervention Randomized Trial Diabetes Care DOI: 10.2337/dc10-1288