THE Mediterranean diet, which is famously beneficial for the cardiovascular system, also helps protect against diabetes, according to a paper published online today by the British Medical Journal.
The mainstays of the Mediterranean diet are olive oil, fish, grains, fruit, nuts and vegetables, usually supplemented by a modest amount of red wine. Meat and dairy products have only a minor role.
Researchers at the
Their health and dietary habits were then tracked in detail over the following months and years.
During the follow-up period - an average of 4.4 years over the range of participants - 103 people became diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, with a large preponderance of cases among those who did not follow the basics of the Med diet.
Those who adhered to the diet most strictly enjoyed a relative reduction of 83 per cent in the risk of diabetes.
Intriguingly, many people in this group also had the biggest accumulation of risk factors for the disease - they were older, were fatter, had a family history of diabetes, more sedentary lifestyle or were ex-smokers.
But they appear to have been shielded by the diet, the authors say. ..theaustralian