Mediterranean Diet Cuts Risk of Diabetes in Half!

Published: October 15, 2012

In this Spanish study, 418 nondiabetic subjects (but who had risk factors for developing diabetes) aged 55 to 80 years were randomized to the low-fat diet (control group), or one of two Mediterranean diets supplemented with either free virgin olive oil (1 L/week) or nuts (30 g/day). Diets were without limits, and no advice on physical activity was given. The main outcome was how many of the people developed diabetes four years later.

The principal components defining a traditional Mediterranean diet, which were recommended in the present study, are:

  • Abundant use of olive oil for cooking and dressing.
  • Increased consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes, and fish.
  • Reduction in total meat consumption, recommending white meat instead of red or processed meat.
  • Preparation of homemade sauce with tomato, garlic, onion and spices with olive oil to dress vegetables, pasta, rice, and other dishes.
  • Avoidance of butter, cream, fast-food, sweets, pastries, and sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • In alcohol drinkers, moderate consumption of red wine.

The results were impressive. After four years those on a Mediterranean diet (whether high in nuts or olive oil) effectively had a 52% lower risk of developing diabetes.


Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with the Mediterranean Diet: Results of the PREDIMED-Reus Nutrition Intervention Randomized trial. Diabetes Care 2010: DOI:10.2337/dc10-1288. Salas-Salvadó. J, Bullo M, Babio N et al.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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