Researchers are working to understand how people can lower their risk of type 2 diabetes, including how specific diets can help. By analyzing specific biomarkers, the researchers indicate that following a Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. People wishing to start a Mediterranean diet can seek advice from their doctor or other specialists to ensure that the measures taken are safe and meet particular dietary needs.
A study published in the journal PLOS Medicine examines adherence to the Mediterranean diet and the incidence of type 2 diabetes.
The researchers studied how specific blood biomarkers can be used to measure the degree of adherence to a Mediterranean diet. Based on their measurements, the researchers indicated that following a Mediterranean diet may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. They also indicated that using biomarkers as a measurement tool could also help people stick to their diet.
Risks of type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is common worldwide. It can lead to certain complications and health problems such as nerve damage, kidney problems and heart disorders. However, certain risk factors can increase the chances of developing the disease, including obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Researchers are still working to fully understand the risk factors for type 2 diabetes and how people can best reduce their risk by making lifestyle changes.
How can diet reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes?
One area of interest is how adhering to specific diets can benefit people at risk of diabetes and people with diabetes. The Mediterranean diet is one option that may offer some benefits. This diet emphasizes plant-based sources of nutrients and limits the consumption of processed foods.
The Mediterranean diet consists of plant-based foods such as vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, fruits, and whole grains. Other dietary sources include fish and seafood. Dairy sources include yogurt and cheese. Red meat and concentrated sugars, or honey, are rarely eaten. Adopting this eating pattern has been shown to be beneficial in reducing diabetes risk, lowering fasting blood sugar, lowering A1c levels, lowering triglyceride levels, and decreasing cardiovascular events. .
Previous research has indicated that the Mediterranean diet may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, one of the difficulties with this research is that it often relies on participants’ self-reporting of their eating habits and choices. of food. The researchers of the new study wanted to find a more objective way to examine adherence to a Mediterranean diet.
The researchers created a scoring system based on several elements of a person’s blood work. Their goal was to develop a blood-based nutritional biomarker score that could objectively indicate consumption of the Mediterranean diet and to test its association with the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The researchers used data from a specific trial to create their biomarker score. In this trial, participants followed either the components of a Mediterranean diet or their usual diet. Based on the participants’ blood levels of certain elements, carotenoids and fatty acids, the researchers said they could distinguish with some accuracy who was following the Mediterranean diet and who was continuing their usual diet.
Next, the researchers looked at the correspondence between the biomarker scores and type 2 diabetes. They applied the biomarker score in a study that included 9,453 people who developed type 2 diabetes and a reference group of 12,749 people. who did not develop type 2 diabetes during the follow-up period of the EPIC-InterAct study in eight European countries. they found that the higher the biomarker score, the lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This finding was made even after taking into account a range of other factors that could influence the results, such as age, gender, level of physical activity, smoking status, body mass index and waist circumference.
Based on their analysis, the researchers indicated that greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with an approximately 11% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Overall, the results indicate that adherence to the Mediterranean diet may help reduce individual risk of type 2 diabetes.
This study provided further evidence of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for the general population. Researchers can assess circulating carotenoid and fatty acid biomarkers to determine diet adherence. As diabetes rates soar, we need to think beyond a single food and use healthy eating patterns as a tool for diabetes prevention and management.
Limitations of the study and further research
While offering unique insight into how the Mediterranean diet may influence the risk of type 2 diabetes, the study has some limitations. First, there was some risk of errors in the measurement of nutritional biomarkers. The researchers also noted the possibility of residual confounding and the fact that it is unclear how the biomarker score specifically aligns with the Mediterranean diet. Other factors were considered, including limitations related to how the researchers collected the data and conducted their research, including limitations related to participants who dropped out of the study and how the researchers created the biomarker score. The study also focused on participants from European countries, which may indicate the need for greater diversity in the future.
Starting a Mediterranean Diet
Although more research should be considered, experts say some people, especially those at risk for type 2 diabetes, might want to try a Mediterranean diet. To do this safely, they recommend people seek dietary recommendations from their doctor or trained specialists to help them make wise food choices based on their particular needs.
Here are some tips for starting a Mediterranean diet
To follow the Mediterranean diet, focus on eating fresh, whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fresh herbs and spices. Incorporate high-quality protein sources, such as grass-fed meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy, as well as fish and seafood from the sea or ocean. Use fresh extra virgin olive oil as your main source of fat and drink wine in moderation. Bitter greens are also an essential part of the Mediterranean diet and can be incorporated into salads or cooked dishes. By following these tips and keeping processed foods to a minimum, you can reap the rewards of this heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory diet.