As the prevalence of type 2 diabetes continues to rise, finding effective dietary approaches for managing the condition becomes increasingly important. Among the recommended diets, the Mediterranean diet has garnered significant attention for its potential health benefits. The Mediterranean diet is packed with fibres, nutrient-rich foods, healthy fats, and low sugar intake, and is widely regarded as beneficial for people dealing with type 2 diabetes. However, a recent study revealed a potential hindrance to the benefits of this diet – the consumption of ultra-processed foods. The study suggests that despite following a Mediterranean diet, the negative effects of indulging in heavily processed foods may outweigh the positive impacts, leading to an increased risk of health complications for diabetes patients.
Also Read: Diabetes Diet: Best And Worst Foods For Blood Sugar Level
Why Is The Mediterranean Diet Best For Diabetes Management?
In recent years, health experts have highly recommended two specific diets for managing type 2 diabetes: the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet. Both of these diets emphasize the consumption of whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruits, and vegetables while minimising sugar intake. Research has shown that higher intakes of fish, whole grains, fibre, and polyunsaturated fatty acids are inversely associated with all-cause mortality in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Therefore, the Mediterranean diet’s fibre-rich and low-sugar components appear to be particularly beneficial for diabetes management.
What The Latest Study Found:
The study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a concerning link between ultra-processed foods and diabetes patients’ mortality risk, irrespective of their adherence to the Mediterranean diet. The research, conducted over a median period of 11.6 years, followed 1,065 individuals with type 2 diabetes. The participants’ dietary habits were assessed using the Mediterranean Diet Score and a comprehensive food intake questionnaire. The study revealed that, on average, 7.4% of the participants’ total food intake consisted of ultra-processed foods.
Understanding Ultra-Processed Foods:
Processed foods are food items that have undergone various mechanical, physical, or chemical changes during their preparation. These changes are often made to improve the taste, texture, shelf life, and convenience of the food. Processing can involve several methods, such as cooking, canning, freezing, dehydrating, pasteurizing, and adding preservatives, among others. Ultra-processed foods are heavily processed products made from vegetables, fruits, and other foods. These products contain various food additives like colourings, preservatives, antioxidants, flavour enhancers, and sweeteners. Examples of ultra-processed foods include carbonated drinks, packaged snacks, instant products like cup noodles, and reconstituted meat products.
Best Diet For Diabetes:
Not just this study but several others have suggested that the Mediterranean diet is one of the best diets for diabetes management. The diet includes a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains, beans, olive oil, spices, and herbs. The ideal way to manage diabetes is by following a healthy diet like the Mediterranean diet and avoiding processed foods. Don’t worry, you’ll get plenty of delicious options for your cravings. If you are wondering what exactly to make at home to follow a Mediterranean diet, you can start by trying our easy and tasty recipes. (Note: These recipes are not a part of the study.)
Also Read: 7 Foods That Can Help Control Your Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
Here are 5 Mediterranean Recipes To Try For A Diabetes Diet:
1. Pita Bread:
Pita bread is the first thing that comes to our mind when we talk about the Mediterranean diet. Now you can make it at home with our recipe, but to make it healthier, use whole wheat flour or multigrain flour. Click here for the recipe for pita bread.
2. Mediterranean Hummus Dip:
The combination of pita bread and hummus is something we all relish in a Mediterranean platter. Make this interesting hummus dip and make your evening snacking session exciting. Click here for the recipe.
3. Mediterranean Omelette:
This omelette is going to blow away your mind with eclectic flavours of spinach, olives, oregano, and more. Click here for the recipe for the healthier Mediterranean omelette.
4. Mediterranean Watermelon Salad:
Make the best use of sweet and juicy watermelon to convert it into a salad with the combination of cucumber, bell pepper, lettuce, seeds, and more such healthy ingredients. Click here for the recipe.
5. Pasta With Roasted Mediterranean Veggies:
For your cheat days, choose this pasta but keep the health quotient high with roasted veggies seasoned with Mediterranean flavours. Click here for the recipe.
Try these tasty recipes, and you’ll never feel the need to reach for processed foods.