Spain: A Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) may help reduce blood sugar and keep type 2 diabetes patients off their diabetes medications, suggests a recent study.
The study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, found that the Mediterranean eating plan (Med-EatPlan) plus EVOO compared with low-fat diet delayed the need for new-onset blood-sugar-lowering medications in patients with type 2 diabetes.
The traditional Mediterranean pattern is characterized by a high intake of olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and cereals; a moderate intake of fish and poultry; a low intake of red meat, whole-fat dairy, and sweet desserts; and wine consumption with meals is allowed in moderation.
F. Javier Basterra-Gortari, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, and colleagues examine the effects of two Mediterranean eating plans (Med-EatPlans) versus a low-fat eating plan on the need for blood sugar-lowering medications.
For the purpose, the researchers recruited 3,230 participants with type 2 diabetes from the Prevención con Dieta Mediterrànea (PREDIMED) trial. They were randomly assigned to the Med-EatPlan supplemented with EVOO, Med-EatPlan supplemented with mixed nuts or a low-fat eating plan.
They then assessed (1) introduction of the first blood sugar lowering medication (oral or injectable) for participants on lifestyle management at enrollment and (2) insulin initiation. After a median follow-up of 3.2 years, the researchers found that:
- After adjusting for baseline characteristics and propensity scores, the hazard ratios (HRs) of starting a first blood sugar-lowering medication were 0.78 for Med-EatPlan + EVOO and 0.89 for Med-EatPlan + nuts, compared with the control eating plan.
- After a median follow-up of 5.1 years, the adjusted HRs of starting insulin treatment were 0.87 (0.68–1.11) for Med-EatPlan + EVOO and 0.89 (0.69–1.14) for Med-EatPlan + nuts compared with the control eating plan.
“Our study results show that PREDIMED participants with type 2 diabetes who underwent an intervention with an energy-unrestricted MedEatPlan + EVOO had significantly lower rates of initiation of blood sugar-lowering medications,” concluded the authors.
To read the complete study follow the link: https://doi.org/10.2337/dc18-2475