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The Mediterranean Diet IS a Diabetic Diet!
Over the years there have been a number of different strategies for diabetic diets. For a long time diabetics were taught to use exchange lists. That method worked well but was cumbersome for a lot of folks. More recently the training has focused on counting carbohydrates at each meal or snack. For diabetics who take insulin being careful with regulating when and what they eat is key and counting carbs works well for them.
What is the best diet for both diabetes and gout?
The key to treating both conditions can be found in a healthier diet. For diabetics diet is the cornerstone of controlling blood sugar. The information about Mediterranean diet can help you to understand the foundations of the diet recommended by the American Diabetic Association.
A Healthy Pre-Pregnancy Diet
and Gestational Diabetes
Gestational Diabetes (GDM) can have long-term and short-term complications for both mother and baby. While early detection and treatment can help prevent some of those complications, prevention is always preferable. Unfortunately, the rate of gestational diabetes in the United States is approximately 7% and is increasing as obesity among childbearing women rises.
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Five years ago I was really pleased to report on a study that confirmed my personal suspicions: that those with Type 2 diabetes need not count carbohydrates or use exchange lists, but need only follow a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet.
Briefly: 215 Type 2 diabetics with Hemoglobin A1c levels less than 11% (this is a measure of diabetic control with good control being under 7%) were assigned to either a low fat diet, similar to the one recommended by the American Heart Association, or a Mediterranean-style diet (both diets included reduced caloric intake of 1500 calories for women and 1800 calories for men). The low fat diet targeted no more than 30% of calories from total fat and less than 10% of calories from saturated fat. The Mediterranean-style diet targeted no more than 50% of calories from carbohydrates and at least 30% of calories from fats, with the main source of added fats being olive oil. Over the course of the 4-year study, those following the Mediterranean-style diet avoided being put on medication to control their blood sugars 56% of the time (meaning only 44% needed to go on medication). By contrast, 70% of those on the low fat diet had to start medication.
The original authors of that study invited those 215 patients to participate in a 4-year follow-up study to continue their research (Diabetes Care 2014;37(7):1824-1830). Monthly meetings were held over six months with the authors of the study and blood tests, physical measurements (weight, waist to hip ratio), and diet and exercise records continued to be gathered as they were in the originating research.
While their primary goal had been to measure how long the participants avoided being put on medication, the researchers also observed that some of the participants actually improved their diabetes to the point that their blood sugars were considered "pre-diabetic" (called a partial remission) or absolutely normal (full remission). In essence, some of the participants "cured" their diabetes.
After a total study period of a little over 6 years, all of those on the low fat diet who had not achieved full or partial remission (about 5% of them) needed to be on medication. Those on the Mediterranean-style site avoided taking medications much longer - up to 8 years - while 15% of them achieved full or partial remission.
There's no guarantee that following a Mediterranean-style diet will cure your Type 2 diabetes, but a 15% chance is a lot more than 5% - and you get to eat better food! You should note, however, that both diets were designed to induce weight loss, and indeed, those on a Mediterranean-style diet lost an average of 2 kilograms (about 4.5 pounds) more than those on a low fat diet. When the researchers analyzed the data while taking weight loss into account, the likelihood of needed to take medication did not change. If you are overweight and have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor about a Mediterranean-style diet. You can use The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan online to create a Mediterranean-style diet that will help you eat great food while still eating healthy for your Type 2 diabetes.
First posted: October 1, 2014