Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee
President, Heart Care Foundation of India
Adhering to a Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits and vegetables and low in animal products, may protect one against developing type 2 diabetes. The diet emphasizes olive oil, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals, legumes and fish, and deemphasizes meat and dairy products. It is a healthy eating plan that seems to help in the prevention of heart disease.
In a study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers tracked the diets of 13,380 Spanish university graduates with no history of diabetes. Participants filled out a 136-item food questionnaire, which measured their entire diet (including their intake of fats), their cooking methods and their use of dietary supplements. During an average of 4.4 years of follow-up, the team found that people who adhered to a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, those who stuck very closely to the diet reduced their risk by 83 percent.
One key factor that might be responsible for the protective effect of the Mediterranean diet is its emphasis on olive oil for cooking, frying, putting on bread and mixing in salad dressings.
Tips to prevent diabetes
1. Eat less
2. Omit refined carbohydrates (white sugar, white rice and white maida)
3. Use olive oil, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals, legumes and fish, and reduce meat and dairy products.