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Adopt a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil for diabetes protection, says study

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Without stressing about counting calories or worrying about cutting carbohydrates, you can protect yourself against diabetes, say researchers. Your secret weapon: A Mediterranean diet that's rich in extra-virgin olive oil, reported CBS News on Jan. 7.

When researchers assigned people at risk for heart disease to a Mediterranean diet, they found that the Mediterranean diet group was 30 percent less apt to develop diabetes. And that preventive benefit from the olive oil-rich diet was effective regardless of how many total calories the dieters ate or whether they exercised.

On a Mediterranean diet, you'll enjoy:

  • Generous amounts of vegetables, from broccoli to kale
  • Fiber-rich whole grains, from oatmeal to brown rice
  • Legumes, such as black beans and chick peas
  • Fish, in particular cold-water fish such as salmon
  • Unsaturated fats, such as extra-virgin olive oil and nuts

What you'll minimize:

  • Red meat
  • High fat dairy
  • Sweets

In addition to being touted as beneficial to people with heart disease, Mediterranean diets can reduce inflammation. And, said the lead researcher, if you also cut calories, you can benefit even more by losing weight.

The bottom-line take-away? "Therefore, the message is that it is never too late to switch to a healthy diet like the Mediterranean," said head researcher Dr. Jordi Salas-Salvado, a professor of nutrition at Rovira i Virgili University and the head of the Department of Nutrition at the Hospital de Sant Joan de Reus in Spain.

In addition, following a classic Mediterranean diet can help you maintain your memory and cognitive abilities, according to CBS News. Learn more, including how to use this plan to win at weight loss, by clicking here.

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