The news of Paula Deen’s diabetes diagnosis is unfortunate, but what is more unfortunate is her decision to work with a pharmaceutical company to promote a diabetes medication that she uses.
As The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) announced: “The first line of defense for the prevention and management of Type 2 diabetes is a healthy diet and regular exercise.”
And it is. But what I want to focus on is the relationship of the Mediterranean diet and diabetes. A number of studies have shown that it can prevent type 2 diabetes, but one important study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that the Mediterranean diet was able to prevent the need for drugs in newly diagnosed individuals. In other words if you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and follow a Mediterranean diet you might not need to take medications.
The study compared the Mediterranean diet with a typical low fat diet and found that it was much more effective in controlling diabetes but also for weight loss. What many people don’t know is that the Mediterranean diet is actually a moderate to low carb diet and all the rich in antioxidant foods can play an important role in the prevention but also the management of the disease.
This is not the time to blame a certain lifestyle for the appearance of chronic disease, we don’t know all the details of Deen’s diagnosis, but to show that there are healthy alternatives out there, other than the bland, boring, low fat diet we’ve all been taught to think is the only solution, it’s not.
Photo Credit: Chris Cassidy