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WORLD DIABETES DAY: IS THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET HELPFUL?

NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL DIABETES MONTH, GET TOGETHER TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT DIABETES.

The Mediterranean diet contains plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, dry legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and extra virgin olive oil, foods suitable for those that suffer from diabetes. It restricts red meat consumption and allows for limited amounts of fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy items. Vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats are all important components of the Mediterranean diet. As a result, the diet is low in cholesterol, saturated fat, trans fats, and added sugars. 

The U.S. News & World Report has named the Mediterranean diet the best overall diet and the best diet for diabetes in 2019 as it’s been proven that it reduces diabetes, heart disease, and even some malignancies. In particular, the traditional Mediterranean diet has been shown to be beneficial to a variety of cardiovascular risk factors, including type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a Western-world disease that makes people more vulnerable to other ailments including cardiovascular disease, brain diseases, and cancer. T2D is linked to a person’s lifestyle and food.

Furthermore, according to a 2017 review by Trusted Source, long-term adherence to the Mediterranean diet is connected to a 20–23% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and a 28–30% lower risk of heart disease.

Disclaimer: Before making any major dietary changes, consult with your diabetic healthcare professional.

Canadian Diabetes Association - The Mediterranean Diet: Is It Right For You?

The fundamental distinction between the two forms of diabetes is that type 1 is a hereditary problem that frequently manifests early in life, whereas type 2 is mostly a diet-related disease that develops over time.

If you have type 2 diabetes, choosing a diet like the Mediterranean will help your body get the fiber, vitamins, and minerals it requires. Similarly, consuming a variety of high-fiber meals might help control blood sugar levels and keep you feeling fuller for longer, preventing you from eating when you’re not hungry.

  • Legumes: Fiber-rich legumes include beans and lentils. If you’re going to use canned beans, look for low-sodium varieties and rinse them before using to remove even more sodium.
  • Veggies: The more vegetables you consume, the better! Including a variety of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables in your diet will help you maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
  • Whole grains: Quinoa, muesli, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, and bulgur are just a few of the nutritious whole grains available.
  • Fruit: Both frozen and fresh produce are excellent choices. Fruit containing seeds and skin, such as berries, plums, and apples, are richer in fiber.
  • Fish: Fish is a fantastic alternative, especially the omega-3 fatty acid-rich types.

According to Nutritional Recommendations for Individuals with Diabetes journal, limiting the consumption of foods high in saturated fat, trans fat, and added sugar can regulate blood sugar management and reduce health issues associated to diabetes.

  • Beverages with added sugar (juice, soda, sweet tea, sports drinks)
  • Trans fatty acids (vegetable shortening, fried foods, dairy-free coffee creamers, partially hydrogenated oil)
  • Meat with a lot of fat
  • Dairy products that are high in fat (whole milk, butter, cheese, sour cream)
  • Processed snacks
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