Mediterranean-style low carb diet lowers diabetes risk by 20 percent

Friday, September 13, 2013 by: John Phillip
Tags: Mediterranean diet, low carbohydrate, reduced diabetes risk

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(NaturalNews) Diabetes is characterized by an excess of glucose circulating in the blood and an inefficiency of insulin to usher the sugar into the cells and muscles where it can be used to fuel metabolic processes or be converted to triglycerides and stored as body fat. Simple, refined and processed carbohydrate laden foods have the most significant impact on elevated sugar levels, and are largely responsible for the dramatic rise in new diabetes diagnoses over the past two decades. Despite extensive studies providing quantitative evidence to the contrary, many individuals and medical professionals alike falsely believe that preventing and altering the course of diabetes progression is futile and can only be accomplished with a myriad of dangerous and even deadly pharmaceuticals.

A group of research scientists from the Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research in Milan, Italy have published the results of their work in the journal, Diabetologia, explaining that a Mediterranean-style diet and diets low in available carbohydrates can offer protection against type II diabetes. The researchers noted, "The role of the Mediterranean diet in weight control is still controversial, and in most studies from Mediterranean countries the adherence to the Mediterranean diet was unrelated to overweight. This suggests that the protection of the Mediterranean diet against diabetes is not through weight control, but through several dietary characteristics of the Mediterranean diet."

Carbohydrate load directly affects blood sugar levels and determines risk for diabetes and complications

The scientists followed 22,295 individuals from the ongoing European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition (EPIC) study over a time frame of 11 years. During this period, 2,330 new cases of diabetes were diagnosed. All participants completed a dietary questionnaire as the researchers constructed a 10-point Mediterranean diet score (MDS) and a similar scale to measure the available carbohydrates based on the glycemic load (GL) of the diet.

Participants with an MDS score over 6 were 12 percent less likely to develop diabetes over the course of the study as compared to those with a score lower than 3. Even more startling, individuals with the highest carbohydrate-laden diet (MDS score above 8) were 21 percent more likely to develop diabetes over the duration of the study. Conversely, those with the lowest carbohydrate intake were 20 percent less likely to develop diabetes over the 11 year period.

Researchers from this study conclude, "High GL diet leads to rapid rises in blood glucose and insulin levels. The chronically increased insulin demand may eventually result in pancreatic B-cell failure and, as a consequence, impaired glucose tolerance and increased insulin resistance, which is a predictor of diabetes." With the preponderance of refined and processed foods packed with obvious and hidden sources of fast-releasing carbs, it is critically important to study food labels to decipher carbohydrate and sugar content. Eliminate those foods that do not provide the majority of their carbohydrate load from naturally occurring, unprocessed sources to dramatically lower diabetes risk.

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About the author:
John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.

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