New Blood Test Links Mediterranean Diet With Lower Diabetes Risk
Updated October 15th 2023
If you’ve been looking for yet another reason to follow the Mediterranean Diet – a research-backed regime of healthy eating habits including extra virgin olive oil – then this one’s for you.
A new blood test has found that consuming the traditional cuisines and ingredients popular in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea could lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Read on to find out more about how this groundbreaking discovery was made and what it means for individuals looking to maintain their health through diet tweaks!
According to a report from LabPulse.com, a blood test developed as part of a research study was used to objectively detect whether an individual is adhering to a Mediterranean diet and to explore the link between adherence to the diet and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
What Are The Benefits Of The Mediterranean Diet For Type 2 Diabetes Risk?
The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that’s based on the traditional cuisines of Greece, Italy and other countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.
Plant-based foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, are the foundation of the diet. Extra virgin olive oil is the main source of added fat.
Fish, seafood, dairy and poultry are included in moderation. Red meat and sweets are eaten only occasionally.
According to research summarised in LabPulse.com, people who self-report that they follow a Mediterranean diet have a modestly lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
The findings from the recent study were published in PLOS Medicine.
The methodology as explained by LabPulse was the following:
The researchers’ novel biomarker-based indicator of a Mediterranean diet measures levels of certain molecules in the blood. First, the researchers identified that blood levels of 24 fatty acids and five carotenoids could predict whether participants from a clinical trial of 128 people had been assigned to follow a Mediterranean diet. Levels of these molecules in a person’s blood were used to calculate a biomarker score, which the researchers used as a measure of the extent to which they were following a Mediterranean diet.
Next, the researchers applied the biomarker score in a study of 340,234 people living in eight European countries, of whom 9,453 developed type 2 diabetes during follow-up and had relevant biomarkers measured. Comparing them with 12,749 participants who remained free of type 2 diabetes, the researchers found that people whose biomarker score indicated greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
For comparison, the researchers also asked participants to self-report their diet. They found that using the biomarker score identified a stronger link between the Mediterranean diet and reduced type 2 diabetes risk than when self-report was used. This finding suggests that previous self-report-based studies may have underestimated this association.
Based on these findings, the researchers contend that even a modest improvement in people’s adherence to a Mediterranean diet could meaningfully reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes. However, since it is currently unknown to what extent the biomarker score is specific to the Mediterranean diet, they note that additional research is needed to confirm their findings.
Our research, combining information from a dietary clinical trial and a large cohort study to identify and apply blood biomarkers for a dietary pattern, is exciting.It should stimulate development of improved methods to study diet-disease associations which are typically limited by reliance on subjective recall of eating.Nita Gandhi Forouhi,University of Cambridge
How Olive Oil Can Stabilise Blood Sugar Levels
According to the American Heart Association (AHA) diabetes often lowers HDL (good) cholesterol levels and raises triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Both increase the risk for heart disease and stroke. But, the high levels of polyphenols in cold pressed extra virgin olive oil can protect against coronary heart disease by reducing cholesterol absorption, which in turn can result in decreased delivery of cholesterol to the liver.
Foods Which Reduce The Risk Of High Cholesterol And Diabetes
According to a recent report in ActiveBeat.com Olive Oil is one of ten foods which can help reduce your levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
The report explains how olive oil contains heart-healthy phytosterols, which are plant-based compounds that help block cholesterol absorption.
Researchers at Biofortis Clinical Research, claim that consuming extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) decreases heart rate and diastolic blood pressure. The study monitored the effects of extra virgin olive oil on a group of 54 healthy male and female participants, for a total of 21 days and discovered that olive oil decreased LDL (bad) cholesterol by 11-percent. Interestingly enough, the same study found that corn oil was able to lower total cholesterol by roughly 9-percent.
If you are looking for some snacks that incorporate extra virgin olive oil have a look at these diabetes friendly snacks.