Mediterranean diet fights T-2 Diabetes

Posted by Editorial on 5th June 2008

New research has established that a Mediterranean diet could help prevent Type-2 diabetes – a disease which is becoming more prevalent across Australia.

An expert in the health benefits of seafood, Mr Roy Palmer, said today that a major research project indicated adherence to a Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of Type-2 diabetes by more than 80%. “With 700,000 Australians diagnosed with T2 diabetes already, and 100,000 more people joining them every year, greatly increasing their risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputations, it is already one of our most serious health problems,” Mr Palmer said. “However, Diabetes Australia says that, on present trends, 3.3 million Australians are likely to suffer from T2 diabetes by 2031. That is horrific.”

Mr Palmer, the Australian link in a worldwide network researching and communicating the health benefits of seafood, advised that details of the research project had just been published in the British Medical Journal.

“The traditional Mediterranean diet is high in fish, olive oil, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals and legumes but relatively low in meat and dairy products. The study found the closer people stick to that type of diet, the less likely they are to develop T2 diabetes,” he added. “Researchers from the University of Navarra in Spain followed the diets and health of more than 13,000 people for an average of almost four-and-a-half years. The best adherents reduced their T2 diabetes risk by 83%, despite sometimes higher than average risk factors for the disease. Overall, they concluded that a traditional Mediterranean food pattern is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes.”

“This is a very important study,” Mr Palmer proclaimed. “We already know the Mediterranean diet protects against heart disease, as does eating oily fish in general, but the fact it also protects against Type-2 diabetes means following this type of diet could potentially extend the lives of millions more Australians.”

With obesity and diabetes being very highly publicised topics of concern in Australia, the study presents retailers and marketers of produce associated to the Mediterranean diet with a great opportunity to further promote the health benefits of their products.