The Mediterranean diet : Bite into summer!

According to a new study, in addition to protecting the heart, the Mediterranean diet also likely contributes to the prevention of Type 2 diabetes.

Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, the scientific community observed that the residents of the countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea displayed fewer cases of cardiovascular diseases than those residing in Northern countries. This protective effect was, for the most part, associated with a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals, as well as fish, seafood, and nuts. Furthermore, individuals who adhere to this diet consume very little red meat and dairy products, quasi-exclusively use olive oil as their main source of fat, and consume red wine moderately. According to a new study, in addition to protecting the heart, this type of diet also likely contributes to the prevention of Type 2 diabetes.

A group of researchers conducted a study in which they observed over 13,000 Spaniards who did not suffer from diabetes. These individuals were followed for a median 4.4 years. The researchers noted that the patients who closely adhered to the Mediterranean diet had a significantly lower risk of suffering from diabetes. Even moderate adherence to this diet was associated with a 59% relative reduction in diabetes risk.

We know that a diet rich in unsaturated fatty acids has a beneficial effect on blood cholesterol levels, as well as on insulin resistance (a problem that can lead to diabetes). It also improves the management of diabetes for individuals already at grips with the disease. We can now also believe that the Mediterranean diet likely protects against the onset of diabetes.

The gardens across Quebec will soon begin offering the fruits of their labour on the shelves of our markets and supermarkets. So why not take advantage of this bounty to discover or rediscover new fruits and vegetables and introduce variety to your diet? Let yourself be inspired by a new recipe book or by ideas from magazines to prepare colourful and mouth-watering meals with all the fabulous gifts summer has to offer. In addition to being delicious, it is good for your health!

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