Scientists from the Complutense University of Madrid found eating the Mediterranean diet could reduce type 2 diabetes risk in people with prediabetes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 37 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and approximately 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes most often develops in people over age 45, but more and more children, teens, and young adults are also developing it.
Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that acts like a key to let blood sugar into the cells in your body for use as energy.
If you have type 2 diabetes, cells don’t respond normally to insulin; this is called insulin resistance.
Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.
Approximately 96 million American adults—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes, more than 80% don’t know they have it.
Prediabetes puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
People can make lifestyle changes to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems.
“Mediterranean diet” is a generic term based on the traditional eating habits in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
A Mediterranean-style diet typically includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, bread and other grains, potatoes, beans, nuts, and seeds; olive oil as a primary fat source; and dairy products, eggs, fish, and poultry in low to moderate amounts.
Previous studies have found the effects of several diets plus physical activity to reduce diabetes risk in people with prediabetes.
However, there is no evidence of the effect of the Mediterranean diet on the progression from prediabetes to diabetes.
In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the effect of high adherence to the Mediterranean diet on the risk of diabetes in people with prediabetes.
They examined a total of 1184 participants with prediabetes and followed them for about 4.2 years.
During the period, 210 people developed diabetes type 2 diabetes.
The team found the risk of diabetes in participants with high versus low adherence to the Mediterranean diet was lower.
The analyses suggest that high adherence to the Mediterranean diet reduces diabetes risk in people with prediabetes.
The research was published in Diabetic Medicine and conducted by Lucía Cea-Soriano et al.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies that eating more eggs is linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, and people with a high intake of linoleic acid have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about unhealthy plant-based diets linked to metabolic syndrome, and results showing Mediterranean diet could help reduce the diabetes risk by 30%.
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