November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and we need this month to remind us all that diabetes is on the rise. There are 24 million known cases in the U.S. and an estimated 220 million cases worldwide and growing!
Research continues to show that with a healthy diet and regular exercise, even if diabetes runs in the family, you can hold it off for years.
In a 4-year Spanish study of non-diabetics at risk for heart disease, there were two groups who ate a Mediterranean-style diet. In addition, one group had lots of olive oil daily and the other group had ¼ cup mixed nuts daily. A third group ate a low-fat diet. The two Mediterranean groups also ate:
- lots of fruits & veggies
- legumes frequently
- primarily fish and white meat (poultry)
- homemade sauces with olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and onions
Study participants were encouraged to AVOID butter, cream, fast food, pastries, sweets & sugar-containing beverages.
The two Mediterranean-style diet groups cut their diabetes risk in HALF!! The monounsaturated fats that they ate – olive oil & mixed nuts – may help fight insulin resistance. The high intake of fruits & veggies mean lots of antioxidants, which protect against inflammation, and may lower diabetes risk.
Further information on this study from Spain in the October 2010 issue of Diabetes Care.