Friday, July 11, 2014

Research Update

Mediterranean Diet And Diabetes

The Study
In this randomized trial, 3,541 men and women aged 55-80 at high risk of cardiovascular disease were put on one of three diets: a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts, or a low fat control diet. After 4.1 years of follow up, the pooled Mediterranean group had a 30% lower risk of type 2 diabetes when compared to the low fat control group. The authors believed that the Mediterranean diet contains components that decrease inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. Annals of Internal Medicine 2014; 160:1-10.

Take Home Message                    
Yet again, the Mediterranean diet is shown to be extraordinarily health promoting.  It is a diet that is 35-40% healthy fat, high in nuts, fruits, vegetables, legumes and fish, and low in butter, sugars, and refined carbohydrate. This study also provides further evidence that a low fat diet is not the way to go.

Glycemic Load And Inflammation

The Study
This paper is a systematic review of the literature on the association between dietary glycemic index/load and markers of inflammation. Nine observational studies and 13 intervention studies were identified for this review. Markers of inflammation in these studies were C-reactive protein (CRP) and Interleukin 6 (IL-6). The researchers found that the majority of studies found a significant association between glycemic index/load and higher levels of inflammation. The authors of the study believe that higher glycemic load diets increase oxidative stress which leads to an inflammatory response by the body. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2014; 99:813-33.

Take Home Message
It appears that inflammation is very important in the development of a variety of chronic diseases, such as: type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia, and even some cancers. Swings in blood sugar can have a really powerful impact on our health. Do your best to keep your glycemic load low by substituting fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains for refined grains like bread, pasta, white rice, and sugar.

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