Researchers are claiming that a Mediterranean diet could provide substantial protection against developing Type 2 diabetes.
The SUN prospective cohort study involved more than 13,000 graduates from the University of Navarra in Spain whose dietary habits and health were tracked. They had no history of diabetes.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in olive oil, grains, fruits, nuts and fish, but low in meat, dairy products and alcohol. The study found the participants who stuck closely to the diet were less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes with an ‘83 per cent relative reduction’ in the risk of developing the condition.
“The results of this research come from an observational study so they are dependent on participants providing accurate information to the researchers", said Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK.
“Although it is interesting that the researchers conclude that a Mediterranean diet could provide protection against Type 2 diabetes, more robust research is needed before we can draw any firm conclusions about this claim.
More Research Needed
“A fundamental link between being overweight and developing Type 2 diabetes has already been proven. Diabetes UK advises people to follow a healthy diet low in fat, sugar and salt with plenty of fruit and vegetables, and to take regular physical activity to reduce the risk of developing the condition.”
The authors of the study are calling for larger cohorts and trials to confirm their findings.