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Diabetes Natural Cures: Can a Mediterranean Diet Cure Diabetes?

Updated on July 16, 2011

Diabetes is a growing epidemic in the united States and around the world. Today, one in five Americans have type 2 diabetes mellitus (formerly known as adult onset diabetes) or its precursor, prediabetes. It is estimated that if current trends continue, one in three babies born in 2006 will develop diabetes in their lifetime.

It doesn't have to be this way. Diabetes is one of the most curable chronic diseases. Simple changes in diet and lifestyle can help you not only manage your diabetes, but actually reverse its effects.

Many patients have been able to successfully manage or cure their diabetes by switching to a diet known as the Mediterranean Diet.

What Is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean Diet is based on the native cuisines of the Mediterranean region of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, including Italy, Greece, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, especially the island of Crete, south of Greece.

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the staple foods of the Mediterranean Diet. Photo by foddistablog.
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the staple foods of the Mediterranean Diet. Photo by foddistablog.

Though you may think of white pasta stuffed with hamburger and drowned in cheese when you think of Mediterranean cuisine, lasagna and its relatives are Americanized versions of Italian food that bear little resemblance to the way most Mediterranean cultures actually eat on a daily basis.

Instead, the traditional diet of the Mediterranean region includes lots of:

  • olive oil
  • fresh fruits and vegetables
  • beans and legumes
  • nuts and seeds
  • whole grains
  • fish and seafood

The Mediterranean Diet also encourages moderate consumption of red wine and cultured dairy products such as yogurt and raw cheese, and occasional consumption of red meat and honey. The Mediterranean Diet avoids most processed foods and refined sugars.

As you can see, the traditional Mediterranean Diet is not only one of the healthiest cuisines in the world, but also one of the most delicious!

How the Mediterranean Diet Helps Diabetics

  • The Mediterranean Diet emphasizes fresh, whole foods that are dense with essential nutrients, including many vitamins and minerals that are known to help prevent or cure diabetes.
  • The Mediterranean Diet is high in fiber, which is known to help control blood sugar levels in the body. A high fiber diet also helps lose weight or maintain a healthy weight and is associated with a lower risk of many common disease and conditions that are often associated with diabetes, including heart disease and high blood pressure.
  • The Mediterranean Diet has one of the highest levels of healthy Omega 3 fatty acids of any diet in the world. Omega 3 fats have an anti-inflammatory effect that is very beneficial for diabetics, and are also associated with lower risks of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
  • Because the Mediterranean Diet incorporates such a variety of healthy and delicious foods, it is one of the easiest diets for many people to stick to, increasing the chances of success!

Disadvantages of the Mediterranean Diet

The primary disadvantage of the Mediterranean Diet for diabetics is its emphasis on grains as the staple food of the diet.

Although whole grains, the sort recommended by the Mediterranean Diet, are far better for diabetic patients than refined (white) grains, most doctors still recommend that diabetic patients follow a modified Mediterranean Diet that incorporates a lower percentage of grains and a higher percentage of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Disclaimer

Diabetes mellitus is life-threatening when untreated or treated improperly. The advice in this article should not be substituted for the advice of a personal physician. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, consult with your doctor before starting any new diet or exercise regime.

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    • profile image

      Melanie Munn 

      8 years ago

      Why will you pass on this Cindy? It's a fairly easy diet, and it's what we should be eating anyway! I offer a meal delivery services with a Mediterranean diet menu if you're interested in giving in a shot for a week or two.

    • Cindy Letchworth profile image

      Cindy Letchworth 

      9 years ago from Midwest, U.S.A.

      Wow, I will have to pass this on. It would be wonderful to find a natural way to fight this disease.

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

      Tatjana-Mihaela 

      9 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Excellent. I agree with you diabetes is one of the most curable diseases...

      Thumbs up for great tips.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 

      9 years ago

      Interesting Hub. I have several diabetic friends who I am passing this on to. I'll be interested in hearing what they have to say. I hope in some way it helps to provide some variety in their diets.

      Thanks for putting this together.

    • TurnipTornado profile image

      TurnipTornado 

      9 years ago from Michigan

      Yummmm. I love Mediterranean food. You could force that down my throat right about NOW!

    • GreenGardenGuy profile image

      GreenGardenGuy 

      9 years ago from Fort Myers, FL

      I wish it was possible to follow a diet like this one AND drink beer. I would have a much easier time with it all. LOL

      Great hub Kerryg! Thanks

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