COMMENTARY

Anne Peters: The Year in Diabetes

Anne L. Peters, MD; Mark Harmel, MPH

Disclosures

December 10, 2013

In This Article

Mediterranean Diet Reduces Heart Disease by 30%

Even without losing weight, patients who follow a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables can reduce their risk for heart attacks, strokes, or deaths from heart disease by 30%.

A large and rigorous study[2] compared the Mediterranean diet with a low-fat diet in a high-risk population, in which one half of the patients had type 2 diabetes. The study results startled expertsso much that it was ended early after nearly 5 years.[3] Participants also seemed to enjoy the diet (perhaps because they could drink wine with meals), and adherence with the diet was higher than that with the low-fat diet.

The same study group[4] found that the Mediterranean diet reduces the incidence of diabetes by 52% -- even without significant change in weight or physical activity. The question is now whether the results can be translated to a US population.

To learn more, you can find tips on following a Mediterranean meal plan at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) or Oldways Websites.

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