How Mediterranean diet can combat diabetes

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What’s on the Menu?

A group of scientists, including some from the Chalmers University of Technology, found that eating a certain type of diet can help fight off type 2 diabetes.

This is a diet filled with things like pasta, brown rice, and flat bread – foods that are part of the Mediterranean diet and have a low glycemic index (GI).

The glycemic index is a number that tells us how quickly a food can raise our blood sugar. Their research was published in the journal “Nutrients”.

The Diabetes Dilemma

Type 2 diabetes is becoming more and more common around the world. This disease is a big deal because it makes you more likely to develop heart disease.

One important part of the disease is how our bodies handle insulin after we eat – this is known as postprandial glycemia.

In their study, the scientists wanted to see how this process is affected by a diet that has foods with a high or low glycemic index.

The Big Experiment

The scientists worked with 160 people who were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For 12 weeks, these people ate a special diet that had either high or low glycemic index foods.

These foods were part of the Mediterranean diet, and included things like pasta, brown rice, flat bread (low GI) or jasmine rice, potato, mashed potatoes, couscous (high GI), along with fruits, vegetables, and other foods that are high in carbohydrates.

What Did They Find?

The scientists found that people who ate the low glycemic index diet had lower blood sugar levels after eating, compared to those who ate the high glycemic index diet.

What’s more, the difference between the two groups got bigger over time.

But the main difference was that people who ate the high glycemic index diet had higher blood sugar levels after eating, while the people who ate the low glycemic index diet had blood sugar levels that stayed the same as before they started the diet.

This suggests that eating foods with a high glycemic index for 12 weeks makes your blood sugar levels go up after eating.

The Takeaway

Even when people are eating a healthy Mediterranean diet, the glycemic index of the foods can affect their blood sugar levels.

So, eating a healthy diet does not make up for eating foods with a high glycemic index. It’s important to think about the quality of the carbohydrates we eat and choose foods with a low glycemic index.

This is especially important because foods with a low glycemic index, like pasta, are a big part of the traditional Mediterranean diet. This could be one reason why this diet is so good for our health.

The scientists think that keeping our blood sugar levels low after eating could be a way to prevent more people from getting type 2 diabetes.

After all, a rise in blood sugar after a meal could be one thing that leads to the disease.

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