Sunday, 29 July 2007

Mediterranean diet beneficial for diabetics

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I was intrigued by a recent Swedish study reporting that people on a so-called "Stone Age" diet had more stable blood sugar levels than those on a Mediterranean diet. An intriguing claim, because it's so often said that Mediterranean-style eating is super-healthful. Let's also admit it is a delicious way to eat: yes, pasta and bread is there, but it's balanced out by tons of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and olive oil. The Stone Age way is a bit more spare: we're talkin' meat, fish, and lots of whole grains, berries and nuts. Nary a sliver of Parmesan in sight.

However, the results of yet another study, this time from Australia, indicates Mediterranean-style eating is a good choice, especially for diabetics. Researchers from the University of Melbourne say Mediterranean-born immigrants in Australia are less likely to die from heart disease than other Australians. The researchers have concluded it's all down to dietary patterns. More than forty thousand people participated in the study over a period of ten years. The numbers revealed those who ate the most Mediterranean-style foods had a thirty percent lower risk of dying from heart disease. For diabetics, the researchers speculate, the benefits could be even higher, reducing the risk of death due to ischemic heart disease.

Results have been published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Visit Reuters for a discussion of the study.

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