Live Better
 
 

Mediterranean diet for diabetes prevention

Filling up on healthy fats favoured in the Mediterranean may help reduce your risk of diabetes.

Olive oil, fresh fish, a variety of delicious nuts and vegetables… the Mediterranean diet has long been linked to health benefits such as longevity, promoting healthy cardiovascular function and slowing or preventing memory loss. A 2013 study, for example, found that people following a Mediterranean diet rich in healthy fats and nutrients had a 30 per cent lower risk of heart disease or stroke.

Now, a recent study has suggested that taking a cue from the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea may also reduce the risk of diabetes, even without weight loss or exercise.

Mediterranean diet and diabetes

The research, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggested that the minerals and phytochemicals in vegetables, seeds and fish can fight the body’s gradual inability to break down sugar and insulin, which can be a precursor to Type 2 diabetes.

“The trial provides strong evidence that long-term adherence to a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil without energy restrictions…results in a substantial reduction in the risk for type 2 diabetes among older persons with high cardiovascular risk,” said lead researcher on the study Dr. Jordi Salas-Salvado.

“Of note, this dietary pattern is palatable and has a high potential for long-term sustainability, with obvious public-health implications for primary prevention of diabetes.”

Sign up to our weekly newsletter and receive useful health tips and insights, expert advice, offers and promotions straight to your inbox. Receive the Eat Clean recipe book FREE with 20 recipes to get you started on your healthy eating journey.

What is the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet is largely plant-based, with a wholesome mix of fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains, and protein coming mostly from fish and legumes. It is not a prescriptive diet, but rather a philosophy that promotes healthy, balanced eating that can be sustained over a lifetime.

  • The main elements of the Mediterranean diet include:
  • Plenty of vegetables, legumes, fruits and wholegrain cereals.
  • Vegetables including leafy greens and tomatoes as part of most meals.
  • Minimal intake of red meat.
  • Fish, including oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna.
  • Olive oil as the main added fat, replacing other oils, butter and lard.
  • Fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts or low-fat yoghurt as snacks and dessert.
  • Avoiding processed and packaged food wherever possible, instead favouring plant-based, seasonally fresh and locally grown foods.
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavour foods
  • Red wine in moderation, consumed with meals.

 

Latest Articles

Food

How to organise your kitchen and pantry

A professional organiser takes us through the steps. Read more

Food

Garlic chilli prawns recipe

Scrumptious, crunchy prawns and fresh veggies. Read more

Food

The doctor’s dinner table

What we eat plays a big role in preventing disease. Read more

Food

Chicken noodle stir fry recipe

An easy dish with the fresh tastes of ginger and bok choy. Read more

Food

Does your workplace promote healthy eating?

Dietitian Simone Austin shares a few ideas. Read more

Food

Lemon and coconut bliss balls recipe

Roll up your own sweet and zesty treats. Read more

Food

Beef, shiitake and spring onion risotto recipe

An easy and satisfying risotto, full of flavour. Read more

Food

Roasted capsicum recipe

A simple side dish, or delicious in sandwiches or pasta. Read more

youtubeui-checkbox-tickui-checkbox-emptyui-checkbox-crosstwitterui-checkbox-tickPage 1Group 10Group 9Group 2sign-up-userArtboard Copynp_phone_503983_000000download_red4xdownload_red4x copyArtboardmember-offer-starLogoMedibank - Logo - ColourOval 5Instagram iconicon-editdownload_red4x copygive-back--spinesgive-back--moneygive-back--massagegive-back--likegive-back--jointgive-back--emailgive-back--dislikedownload_red4xdownload_red4xGroup 5filter-iconfacebookMobile Navcheckcarret-upcarret-rightcarret-leftcarret-downGroup Copy 2arrowarrow-circleanimated-tick