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Good Fats? High-Fat Mediterranean Diet Reduces Risk of Diabetes, Experts Say

Jul 19, 2016 03:20 AM EDT
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An unrestricted high-fat Mediterranean diet can reduce risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer, health experts said.
(Photo : condesign / Pixabay)

A high-fat Mediterranean diet could reduce type 2 diabetes risks, health experts said.

Apart from diabetes, researchers also found that unrestricted amounts of fat in a healthy Mediterranean diet - especially if it's healthy fat - could also lower the risks of heart disease and cancer.

"Our primary conclusion is that there is limited evidence from randomized trials that a Mediterranean diet with no restriction on fat intake may be associated with a reduced incidence of cardiovascular events, all-cancers, breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes mellitus but does not affect all-cause mortality," Dr. Hanna Bloomfield from the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Minnesota and study author said in a news release published in Medscape.

The Mediterranean diet is typically rich in fruits and vegetables, and is also high in monounsaturated fats - olive oil in particular. The diet also includes legumes, whole grains, cereals and fish, with a low to moderate amounts of dairy and meat products.

The researchers said that this type of diet leads to lower risk of certain deadly diseases compared to traditional Western diets packed with sugar and refined grains, even when they have higher levels of fat.

According to the study, global deaths caused by diabetes and cardiovascular diseases have increased by over 40 percent in the last 20 years. In the United States alone, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of deaths, and researchers blame increased consumption of refined grains and added sugars in Western diet.

In the study, the researchers analyzed existing research on the subject and found that following a Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 30 percent, and lowered the risk of breast cancers by 57 percent and major heart attacks and strokes by 29 percent, Mail Online reports

"If you're trying to eat a healthy diet, one of the important things you should do is include olive oil as your main cooking oil or salad oil and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables of different colors," Bloomfield said in a report by Mail Online.

However, the researchers said that there is no evidence that Mediterranean diet can lead to reduced blood pressure or kidney disease.

The results of the study were published online in Annals of Internal Medicine.

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