Want to control diabetes? Check your plate

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What if you could reverse diabetes with chickpeas, fish and olive oil? A new study from Newcastle University links a very-low-calorie diet with the cessation of type 2 diabetes.

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Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, at first managed by diet or surgery, and then by medication or insulin injections. But a new study indicates this doesn’t have to be the case.

A study conducted in March this year by Newcastle University in the United Kingdom placed 30 individuals with type 2 diabetes on a very-low-calorie diet for eight weeks and stopped all diabetes medication and insulin injections. A dozen participants experienced lower blood glucose levels and their diabetes went into remission for at least six months. The research team believes major weight loss can return insulin levels to normal.

While research needs to continue, the study provides hope that type 2 diabetes may not be a lifelong condition – and that’s great news for the 1.7 million Australians who suffer from it.

Inspired by the study, documentary-maker Dr Michael Mosley has suggested that the Mediterranean diet may help control diabetes. The diet is mainly vegetarian, with a few servings of oily fish a week. Olive oil is the primary added fat, and the diet also includes fresh fruit, yoghurt and legumes.

Researchers around the world have been studying the Mediterranean diet due to its remarkable effects on health. A recent study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago found the diet could help prevent the return of breast cancer. Other studies have suggested it can reduce the risk of heart disease and dementia.

According to Diabetes Australia, 280 people develop diabetes every day. That’s one person every five minutes, and makes it the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia. If you suffer from diabetes, would like to lose weight or would like to improve your overall health, the Mediterranean diet may be for you.

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