Mediterranean DietResearchers studied more than 22,000 participants over an eleven year time period. They then took those who had developed type 2 diabetes and monitored their dietary habits. The researchers constructed a 10-point "Mediterranean Diet Score" (MDS) and a similar scale to measure the available carbohydrate (or glycemic load (GL)) of the diet.
A Mediterranean diet features the use of extra virgin olive oil, which leads to a high ratio of monounsaturated fats to saturated fatty acids. The diet recommends fish and lean meats, whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and nuts.
MDS Score vs. GL ScorePeople with an MDS score of over 6 were 12% less likely to develop diabetes than those with a score of 3 or below. Those with the highest available carbohydtrate in their diet were 21% more likely to develop diabetes than those with the lowest. Those people with both high MDS and low GL had a 20% less chance of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition, they found that it was the dietary characteristics, according to these two measures, rather than gross weight (or overweight) that was significant.
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