Mediterranean Diet Reduces Risk of Diabetes for
Seniors Without Exercise, Weight Loss
Seniors worried about type 2 diabetes have strong
evidence they need to eat like those who live on the Mediterranean
Jan. 7, 2014 – Type 2 diabetes is one of the
diseases most feared by senior citizens, because it stays for a lifetime
and also due to its reputation for leading its victims down a long path
of other debilitating and deadly afflictions. A new research report
seems to be emphatic in saying a Mediterranean diet is a solution for
seniors, especially when rich in extra-virgin olive oil.
Older patients at high risk for heart disease who
follow a Mediterranean diet rich in extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) do not
need to restrict calories, increase exercise, or lose weight to prevent
diabetes, according to the article published in
Annals of Internal Medicine.
Abundant in Mediterranean diet that makes cancer
May 21, 2013 - New research suggests that a
compound called apigenin, abundant in the Mediterranean diet, takes away
the "superpower" of cancer cells to escape death. By altering a very
specific step in gene regulation, this compound essentially re-educates
cancer cells into normal cells that die as scheduled.
The Spanish researchers – many associated with
other studies of the beneficial health effects of the Mediterranean diet
- studied over 3,500 men
and women between the ages of 55 and 80, who were at a high risk of
heart disease but did not have diabetes.
They sought to determine if following a
Mediterranean diet could reduce incident diabetes without counting
calories, increasing physical exercise, or losing weight. Lifestyle
interventions that induce weight loss have been shown to decrease
incident diabetes to as low as 50 percent.
Those in the study were randomly assigned to one of
Group one was were restricted to a Mediterranean
diet supplemented with high levels of extra-virgin olive
A second group was also on the
Mediterranean diet but their supplement was rich with mixed nuts.
The third group was assigned a
low-fat control diet.
Participants in the Mediterranean diet groups
primarily ate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish, plus their
assigned supplements. Participants in the control group were instructed
to reduce dietary fat intake from all sources.
Dieticians provided periodic training sessions to
help patients adhere to their diets and participants in all three groups
were not required to restrict calorie intake or increase physical
After four years, participants following the
Mediterranean diets had a substantial reduction in the risk for type 2
diabetes compared to those in the control group. Researchers conclude
that a Mediterranean diet may have public health implications for
diabetes prevention because it is palatable and sustainable.
But the big winner was the Mediterranean diet
supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil. These seniors achieved a risk
reduction of 40 percent. Those with mixed nuts as a supplement
experienced a risk reduction of only 18 percent.
There have been a number of other studies resulting
in conclusions that the Mediterranean diet helps prevent cardiovascular
problems and diabetes.
A report published in the
World Journal of Diabetes in 2010 concluded that
effective lifestyle modifications including counseling
on weight loss, adoption of a healthy dietary pattern like the
Mediterranean diet, together with physical activity are the cornerstone
in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
The authors wrote, “… promoting
adherence to the Mediterranean diet is of considerable public health
importance as this dietary pattern, apart from its various health
benefits, is tasty and easy to follow in the long term.”
They wrote that genetic
susceptibility and environmental influences seem to be the most
important factors responsible for the development of diabetes mellitus.
However, many studies indicate that obesity and physical inactivity may
constitute the main reasons for the increase of diabetes.
Another study, published in 2007 in the
Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical
Nutrition, sought to
to investigate the association of Mediterranean diet on clinical status
of 150 elderly men and women. They studied men and women aged 65 to 100
from Cyprus. Their conclusion was that adherence to a Mediterranean diet
is associated with reduced odds of having hypercholesterolemia,
hypertension, diabetes and obesity among elderly people.
There is no single Mediterranean
diet although the dietary patterns that prevail in the Mediterranean
region have many common characteristics.
The Mediterranean diet was first
described in the 1960s by Ancel Keys based on his observation of food
habits of some populations in the Mediterranean region.
The Mediterranean dietary pattern
emphasizes a consumption of fat primarily from foods high in
monounsaturated fatty acids and mainly olive oil. It encourages daily
consumption of fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products and whole
grains, weekly consumption of fish, poultry, tree nuts, legumes, monthly
consumption of red meat, as well as a moderate consumption of alcohol,
normally with meals but the proportions of macronutrients may vary.
Recent studies have put emphasis on enriching this diet with
extra-virgin olive oil.
details on the Mediterranean Diet go to Oldways.
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