February 2013

Mediterranean Diet for Type 2 Diabetes

According to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the Mediterranean Diet may be beneficial to individuals with type 2 diabetes.

The Mediterranean diet is rich in heart-healthy fiber and nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. The diet generally includes: fruits, vegetables and unsaturated "good" fats, particularly olive oil. Olive oil has been associated with benefits such as lower blood pressure and a lower risk for heart disease. In addition, olive oil may benefit people with type 2 diabetes.

In the recent study, researchers used Pubmed, Embase and Google Scholar databases to find randomized controlled trials that assessed different diets for six months or longer. The experimental diets included a low-carbohydrate, vegan, vegetarian, low glycemic index, high fiber, high protein and Mediterranean.

Researchers chose 3,072 participants from 20 previous studies for analysis. The low carbohydrate, low GI, high protein and Mediterranean diets all significantly improved glycemic control, which is maintaining a normal blood sugar level in diabetics. The Mediterranean diet showed the greatest effect for improving glycemic control.

Furthermore, the Mediterranean diet helped participants lose a significant amount of weight (1.84 kilograms), compared to the control diets.

For more information about integrative therapies for diabetes, please visit Natural Standard's Comparative Effectiveness Database.


  1. Ajala O, English P, Pinkney J. Systematic review and meta-analysis of different dietary approaches to the management of type 2 diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jan 30. 
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. 

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