UNC Health Care

Go Mediterranean!

Many adults with type 2 diabetes struggle to lose weight and lower their blood sugar. Following a Mediterranean diet may help, concludes a study reported recently in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Researchers compared the effects of seven popular diets on adults with type 2 diabetes. In addition to a Mediterranean diet, the study’s authors found that low-carbohydrate, high-protein and low-glycemic-index diets-which rank foods by how quickly their carbohydrates turn into glucose-also helped to lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. However, only a Mediterranean diet also led to significant weight loss when followed for at least six months.

A typical Mediterranean diet includes:
• Olive oil: Use abundantly for cooking and dressing dishes.
• Vegetables: Eat at least two to three servings a day.
• Fruits: Eat at least two to three servings a day.
• Beans: Eat three or more servings a week.
• Fish or seafood: Eat three or more servings a week. Fatty fish, such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are good choices.
• Nuts or seeds: Eat at least one serving a week.
• Poultry: Eat sparingly instead of red meat or processed meats. Keep portion sizes small.
• Tomato, garlic and onion: Cook with them at least twice a week.
• Grains: Replace most refined grains with whole grains.
• Wine: Drink in moderation (for those who drink alcohol).