Mediterranean Diet Best for Type 2 Diabetes

Jenny Decker RN's picture
Mediterranean Diet

Close your eyes and envision your dinner for tonight. First, you have cooked fish in extra virgin olive oil. On the plate next to the fish, you have freshly steamed green beans from your garden and a bowl of fruit, watermelon, cantaloupe, and red grapes with walnuts sprinkled on top. In your glass, you have grape juice. This is an example of a type of meal you might eat with the Mediterranean diet.

Now scientists have discovered that the Mediterranean diet is the best for diabetes type 2.

In a press release from the American College of Physicians, it was announced that a study in Italy has shown that people with diabetes type 2 who eat a Mediterranean diet are less likely to have to go on medication to control high blood sugars. Those with diabetes type 2 who ate a low fat diet were more likely to go on the drugs used to control blood sugars.


A Mediterranean diet that is low in carbohydrates. The Mayo Clinic suggests the following for a Mediterranean diet: plenty of exercise, eating meals with friends and family, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil, herbs and spices in place of salt, small portions of nuts, red wine in moderation (grape juice can be used as a substitute), very little red meat, and fish or shellfish at least twice a week.

Fruits and vegetables are good sources of antioxidants and the average intake of antioxidants should be nine servings a day. Nuts are high in fat, but the tree nuts are recommended as they are low in saturated fat. Examples of these include pecans, almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts. Nuts should only be eaten in small amounts. The Mediterranean diet consists of more as well.

The fats that are included in the Mediterranean diet that is useful for diabetes type 2 have are monounsaturated. These are the olive oils (extra virgin or virgin are best). Polyunsaturated fats contain the omega-3 fatty acids. These lower triglycerides and thus improve the health of the blood vessels. Fish is a great source of the omega-3 fatty acids.

Mediterranean diets are a fun and wonderful way to keep healthy. Those who do not have diabetes type 2 can greatly benefit from eating a Mediterranean diet as a way to stay healthy and avoid the problems associated with diabetes. Those with diabetes should consult their physician and dietician before starting a new diet.