Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where there is a disturbance in the way the body uses food that has been digested for growth and energy.
Type 1 diabetes is to do with auto-immunity and very little can be done to prevent it. However the more common Type 2 diabetes is related to age, family history of diabetes, obesity, and a lack of exercise and much can be done to prevent and manage it.
Without proper care and attentio, diabetes can affect all parts of the body and can lead to stroke, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, blindness, foot problems and neuropathy .
A clinical trial by the Diabetes Prevention Program and launched by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) showed that the chances of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced by diet and exercise.
Much research has been done on the link between diet and diabetes . Findings have shown that the Mediterranean diet can be helpful to patients with a new diabetes diagnosis or those who are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The Harvard School of Public Health, Olways and the European Office of the World Health Organisation found that those living in Mediterranean countries such as Greece and Southern Italy have lower rates of diabetes and heart disease compared to countries like the USA and India.
They also identified that the main components to a Mediterranean diet include:
• Seasonal fresh and locally grown fruits and vegetables. These maximize antioxidant content of these foods.
• Plenty of fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grain cereals, potatoes, millets, and seeds.
• Olive oil is the main oil used and replaces other fats including butter and margarine.
• Daily consumption of small amounts of cheese and yogurt.
• Low to moderate amounts of fish and poultry eaten twice a week and only 340-450 gm of red meat per month.
• 1-2 glasses of wine per day, normally with meals, but this is optional.