In a new study, researchers found eating the Mediterranean diet plus extra virgin olive oil may help with type 2 diabetes delay their need for first glucose-lowering medication.
The research was conducted by an international team from the U.S. and Spain.
In the study, the team tested 3,230 participants from the Prevención con Dieta Mediterrànea (PREDIMED) trial.
These people had type 2 diabetes and they ate the Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil, the Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts, or a low-fat diet.
The team checked the use of the first glucose-lowering medication for participants and insulin initiation.
After a follow-up of 3.2 years, they found that the Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil could strongly delay the use of the first glucose-lowering medication in patients.
But this effect was not found in people who ate the Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts.
The team says the lower need of starting a first glucose-lowering medication with the Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil probably reflects the better blood sugar control of this group.
They also say that extra virgin olive oil supplementation could lead to a change in HbA1c in people with type 2 diabetes.
Although nuts have been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, the glycemic effect of nut-enriched meals may be lower in people with diabetes than in people without diabetes.
One author of the study is F. Javier Basterra-Gortari, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.
The study is published in Diabetes Care.
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