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Mediterranean style Diet as compared to Low fat diet, Reduced the Risk for Diabetes by 52%


 A very interesting study (1) from Spain shows that Mediterranean style diet as compared to low fat diet, reduced the risk for diabetes by 52%.  

Mediterranean style diet consists of:


Abundant use of olive oil

Increased consumption of fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and fish.


White meat instead of red or processed meat.


Preparation of homemade sauce with tomato, garlic, onion, and spices with olive oil to dress vegetables, pasta, rice, and other dishes.


Avoidance of butter, cream, fast-food, sweets, pastries, and sugar-sweetened beverages.


In alcohol drinkers, moderate consumption of red wine.  


Reference: 1- Salas-Salvadó. J, Bullo M, Babio N et al. Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with the Mediterranean Diet: Results of the PREDIMED-Reus Nutrition Intervention Randomized trial.

 Diabetes Care 2010: DOI:10.2337/dc10-1288.



Comments by Dr. Zaidi


No Surprise:  Olive oil, nuts, and fish are known to reduce insulin resistance, the root cause of development of Type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, fast foods, sweets, sodas and all bakery products, including all cereals, put a heavy load in terms of glucose on the overworked pancreas from insulin resistance and ultimately leads to development of type 2 diabetes.


Please read my book, "Take Charge of your Diabetes" to fully understand insulin resistance and its consequences.




Insulin may increase risk for Pancreatic Cancer while Metformin may reduce this risk.


An excellent study from University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston showed that patients with Type 2 diabetes who used insulin were 5 times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer and those who used oral medicines that increase insulin secretion, such as sulfonylurea drugs (Glyburide, Glipizide, Glimepiride, etc ), were 2.5 times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.


On the other hand, patients who were on Metformin had a 62% lower risk for developing pancreatic cancer.



Comments by Dr. Zaidi:



No surprise! Type 2 diabetic patients are at increased risk for all kinds of cancer, including pancreatic cancer. Why? Because the root cause for Type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance which results in a high level of insulin in these patients.


Insulin causes an increase in the growth of cancer cells. Therefore, if you take insulin shots or oral pills that increase insulin production (drugs such as Glyburide, Glipizide or Glimepiride and other sulfonylurea drugs ), you are obviously adding fuel to the fire, increasing your risk for cancer.


On the other hand, if you treat insulin resistance, then your insulin level goes down and your risk for cancer also goes down.


Metformin treats insulin resistance. Therefore, it was no surprise that metformin caused a decrease in the risk for pancreatic cancer in this study.


Currently, there are only three anti-diabetic drugs that treat insulin resistance; These are Metformin (Glucophage), Pioglitazone (Actos), and Rosiglitazone (Avandia). 


As I mentioned in my book, "Take Charge of Your Diabetes," I focus on treating insulin resistance. I rarely use pills that increase insulin production and almost never use insulin in my Type 2 diabetic patients.  




This article was written by Sarfraz Zaidi, MD, FACE. Dr. Zaidi specializes in Diabetes, photoEndocrinology and Metabolism.



Dr. Zaidi is a former assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA and Director of the Jamila Diabetes and Endocrine Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, California.



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