Since 1980s the number of individuals with diabetes in the United States has nearly tripled to an astonishing 17 million (1), leading physicians, researchers and pharmaceutical companies on the hunt for the most effective treatment options. A recent publication in Diabetes Care studied approximately 400 non-diabetic individuals at high cardiovascular risk and randomized them to one of three diets: Low-fat, Mediterranean with nuts, and Mediterranean with olive oil (2). Individuals were educated on the various diets but did not have to follow a certain calorie allotment or physical activity plan. After four years, the number of individuals with diabetes was 10.1 percent in the Mediterranean with olive oil group, 11 percent in the Mediterranean with nuts group and 17.9 percent in the low-fat group. Collectively when compared to the low-fat group, those following a Mediterranean diet were 52 percent less likely to develop diabetes. These results show the significant impact that simple dietary changes can have on diabetes risk reduction without having to dramatically change caloric intake or activity levels.
- Diabetes Data and Trends. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics/prev/national/figpersons.htm. Accessed: 10/14/2010.
- Salas-Salvadó J, Bulló M, Babio N, Martínez-González MA, Ibarrola-Jurado N, Basora J, Estruch R, Covas MI, Corella D, Arós F, Ruiz-Gutiérrez V, Ros E; For the PREDIMED Study investigators. Reduction in the Incidence of Type 2-Diabetes with the Mediterranean Diet: Results of the PREDIMED-Reus Nutrition Intervention Randomized Trial. Diabetes Care. 2010 Oct 13.