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Mediterranean Diet May Be Healthy for Diabetics

Jessie Whitman | February 20th, 2013

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Diabetes DietType 2 diabetes affects more than 24 million people in the United States. The body’s inability to effectively utilize insulin can lead to serious problems such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and kidney damage. Making healthy lifestyle changes such as following a low-calorie diabetes diet and exercising regularly can help diabetics successfully manage the condition and reduce the risk of developing diabetes-related complications.

On January 30, 2013, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a medical study that determined which diet plan was best at lowering blood sugar levels, promoting weight loss and offered other health benefits. The researchers analyzed the results of 20 different studies that compared seven popular diets – high-protein diets, low-carbohydrate diets, low-glycemic index diets and a Mediterranean diet. The participants followed each of the diets for a minimum of six months.

Researchers analyzed benefits of several diets

According to the results of the study, people who were on the Mediterranean diet lost an average of four pounds, but there wasn’t any significant weight loss for the people who followed the other diets. In addition to helping people lose weight, studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet also reduces the risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers warned that even though people lost weight, the study did not ascertain whether the health benefits were caused by the weight loss or the type of foods consumed while on the Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet consists of eating foods such as fish, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, poultry, herbs, spices and olive oil. Consumption of red meat, dairy products and sugary foods is limited. Maintaining an active lifestyle and exercising on a regular basis are also crucial components of the diet plan. Dietitians believe that people tend to be more successful at following the Mediterranean diet for an extended period of time because it doesn’t entail abiding by a strict dietary regimen. People can structure their own well-balanced meals and are encouraged to eat until they are satiated.

Participants who followed the low-glycemic diets, low-carbohydrate diets and Mediterranean diet improved their cardiovascular health. The study also revealed dieters lowered their “bad” cholesterol levels by 9% and increased their “good” cholesterol by 5%. All of the diets lowered the blood sugar levels of the participants.

Advantages of a physician-supported diabetic diet plan

Individuals who want to control their blood sugar levels and reduce the health risks associated with type 2 diabetes should consult a physician before starting a diet and exercise program. The Center for Medical Weight Loss provides physician-guided diabetes diet programs that are customized to suit the health status, weight loss goals, and lifestyle needs of each client. The physician chooses the best aspects of different diets and incorporates them into an effective weight loss plan.

According to Dr. Michael Kaplan, the founder and Chief Medical Officer of the Center for Medical Weight Loss, patients who lose 5% to 10% of their body weight significantly reduce their blood sugar levels and often no longer need medication. Completely reversing diabetes through diet was possible for some of the Center’s clients.

The Center for Medical Weight has more than 450 locations throughout the country and is the largest network of non-surgical weight loss specialists in the nation. If you want to take the first step toward living a healthier life, enter your zip code in the box on the right side of the screen to find a Center near you. Special introductory offers are available to first-time clients at select locations.