Mediterranean Diet Ranked Best for Diabetes

Every January since 2010, US News and World Report releases its annual assessment of the year’s best diets. For the second consecutive year, the Mediterranean Diet ranked as the No. 1 best diet overall and the best diet for diabetes.

The Mediterranean diet includes an abundance of fruits, vegetables, bread, other forms of cereals, beans, nuts, seeds, and minimally processed, seasonally fresh and locally grown foods. Olive oil is the primary source of fat; yogurt and cheese are eaten in low to moderate amounts. Individuals who follow the diet eat red meat infrequently and in small quantities, and typically consume moderate amounts of wine with meals.

The Mediterranean style of eating is associated with the prevention and management of diabetes and its complications. This is good news for the majority of individuals with type 2 diabetes who are likely to have at least one additional chronic condition, such as high blood pressure, overweight, or obesity, elevated cholesterol levels and heart disease.

Research shows that individuals who closely follow the Mediterranean diet are able to reduce type 2 diabetes risk by 23 percent. Olive oil and wine—mainstays in the Mediterranean diet, are also associated with diabetes prevention. Studies show olive oil is linked to a 16 percent reduction in type 2 diabetes and drinking 3 ounces of red wine every day has been shown to reduce diabetes risk by 15 percent. Notably, beer and other spirits are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

In a 2015 study researchers found individuals who followed a Mediterranean diet compared to those on various other diets—including the American Diabetes Association Diet, had improved blood glucose control, improved BMI and weight loss, lower cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure, and improved HDL (good) cholesterol.

To help you put the Mediterranean diet into practice, Oldways, a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization in Boston, Massachusetts, with the help of Harvard School of Public Health, developed the

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