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How A Mediterranean Diet Delays the Need for Diabetes Medication

What if I told you that a Mediterranean diet could delay the need to take diabetes medication? Let’s explore this topic. The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on the rich history and traditions of Mediterranean countries like Greece and Italy. This style of eating has been around for many generations and is filled with delicious whole fruits and vegetables, legumes, fish, and healthy fats like nuts, seeds, and olive oil.

Now, let’s travel back to the states. According to the CDC, in 2018 there were over 34 million people living with diabetes in the United States; this is roughly 10% of the US population. With the number of people living with type 2 diabetes increasing over the past years, there has been a lot of research around different diets or foods that can help with the management of type 2 diabetes. Typically, type 2 diabetes is managed with diet and exercise, along with oral medication or insulin if needed. Additionally, the Mediterranean diet has shown to benefit those recently diagnosed or living with type 2 diabetes and can help to delay the need to use medication to treat type 2 diabetes.

Why choose a Mediterranean diet?

In a randomized study, over 200 men and women were assigned to either a low carb Mediterranean diet or a low-fat diet. To be eligible, the participants had to be overweight, middle-aged, type 2 diabetic, and have never used medication to treat their diabetes. The research showed that a low carb Mediterranean diet can help to lower A1c in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics, as well as delaying the need for diabetes medication. By incorporating the Mediterranean style of eating into their life, participants were able to establish healthy eating habits and improve their overall health, which was shown by their lowered A1c levels. One of the most breakthrough findings in this study was how a low carb Mediterranean diet can actually help to prolong the amount of time before one would have to be put on diabetes medication. This gives those living with type 2 diabetes the chance to treat and manage their condition with a healthy diet and lifestyle before they need to take medication.

If you or someone you know is recently diagnosed with or is living with type 2 diabetes talking with a doctor or registered dietitian about trying a low carb Mediterranean diet could be helpful. As always, make sure you consult with your doctor before you make any changes to your diet.

If you're interested in learning new ways to incorporate a Mediterranean style diet into your life, Olivaio is a great resource. Not only do we provide high-quality extra virgin olive oil, but we also have lots of educational material! If you want to learn more about how extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or a Mediterranean Diet can benefit your health, check out our other blogs!

Written by Isabelle Hammack
Reviewed by Kelly Powers, MA, RDN, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who takes a holistic approach to nutrition and health. Kelly is a recipe developer with a food blog highlighting whole foods, simple recipes, and her life in San Francisco. She’s the creator of 52 Weeks, a weekly meal plan program that helps users get back in the kitchen and feed themselves well. Kelly is also a co-founder of Olivaio.