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Mediterranean Diet, Glycemic Load & Diabetes

Posted Aug 20 2013 3:49am
We know from several recent posts that the Mediterranean Diet is good for your heart & your brain .  It turns out that the more you adhere to the Mediterranean Diet, the lower your risk for developing diabetes, as demonstrated by an observation study published early online this month in Diabetologia .  You remember the Mediterranean Diet, right?  Plenty of fruits & vegetables.  Nuts & legumes.  Olive oil.  Nuts & legumes.  Whole grains & cereals.  Some fish & chicken but minimal beef & dairy.  And let's not forget the wine in moderation (averaging not allowed).  What's so special about this particular "diet"?  Especially because "Mediterranean" refers to a geographic region that is encompassed by multiple & varied ethnicities, religions & cultures such that each has its own variation on a theme.

So even as we attempt to figure out what makes this way of eating so healthy, others have looked at the glycemic index as a means to replicate benefit on a more global scale.  Recall that glycemic index refers to a foods innate ability to raise blood sugar.  This value doesn't change.  Glycemic load, which is calculated as glycemic index multiplied by serving size, takes into account how much food one is consuming.  Thus, this value can change.  And as the 22,295 Greek participants followed for 11+yrs showed, glycemic load is associated risk for diabetes.  So pay attention not only to what you eat but how much of it you consume.  It's not just quality but quantity, too.

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