Med diet “reduces risk of diabetes” Published: 05 June, 2008
A MAJOR research project has suggested that adherence to a Mediterranean diet, including seafood high in omega-3, reduced the risk of Type-2 diabetes by more than 80%
An expert in the health benefits of seafood, Roy Palmer, said: With 700,000 Australians diagnosed with T2 diabetes already and 100,000 more people joining them every year, it is already one of our most serious health problems.
However, Diabetes Australia says that, on present trends, 3.3 million Australians are likely to suffer from T2 diabetes by 2031.
Mr Palmer, the Australian link in a worldwide network researching and communicating the health benefits of seafood, said details of the research project had just been published in the British Medical Journal.
The traditional Mediterranean diet is high in fish, olive oil, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals and legumes (vegetables such as peas and beans) but relatively low in meat and dairy products.
“The study found the closer people stick to that type of diet, the less likely they are to develop T2 diabetes.
Researchers from the University of Navarra in Spain followed the diets and health of more than 13,000 people for an average of almost four-and-a-half years.
“The best adherents reduced their T2 diabetes risk by 83%, despite sometimes higher than average risk factors for the disease.
These people were often older, fatter, more sedentary, ex-smokers, and with high blood pressure and a family history of T2, and would have been expected to show higher than average incidence of diabetes.
“The fact this did not happen indicates the diet has what the researchers called a substantial potential for prevention
Overall, they concluded that a traditional Mediterranean food pattern is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes.
This is a very important study, Mr Palmer concluded.
We already know the Mediterranean diet protects against heart disease, as does eating oily fish in general, but the fact it also protects against Type-2 diabetes means following this type of diet could potentially extend the lives of millions more Australians.
“This news should be very widely publicised.
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