October 15, 2010 (Reus, Spain) — Use of the Mediterranean diet among nondiabetics at high cardiovascular risk halved the incidence of new-onset diabetes over four years compared with a low-fat diet, new research shows. Interestingly, the benefit didn’t even require weght loss! This is the first randomized clinical trial to look specifically at use of the Mediterranean diet for the prevention of diabetes, say Dr Jordi Salas-Salvadó (Human Nutrition Unit, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Reus, Spain) and colleagues in their paper published online October 7, 2010 in Diabetes Care.
The principal components defining a traditional Mediterranean diet, which were recommended in the present study, are:
- Abundant use of olive oil for cooking and dressing.
- Increased consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes, and fish.
- Reduction in total meat consumption, recommending white meat instead of red or processed meat.
- Preparation of homemade sauce with tomato, garlic, onion, and spices with olive oil to dress vegetables, pasta, rice, and other dishes.
- Avoidance of butter, cream, fast-food, sweets, pastries, and sugar-sweetened beverages.
- In alcohol drinkers, moderate consumption of red wine.