Compared with a control diet and a Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts, the olive oil-supplemented Mediterranean diet was associated with a 40% lower likelihood for new-onset diabetes (HR 0.60, 95% CI 0.43-0.85) , according to Jordi Salas-Salvado, MD, PhD, of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Reus, Spain, and colleagues.
Dieters who consumed a nut-supplemented Mediterranean diet did not see such protective benefits (HR 0.82, 95% CI 0.61-1.10), they wrote online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Read the article and then the readers’ comments. The following are some excerpts:
The findings of this study identify inherent weaknesses in methodology. The low fat control group did not adhere to a low fat diet and the improbable risks of CVD were notably higher.
I wonder if the researchers would consider the benefits of asking their subjects to spread their food intake more evenly throughout the day rather than the the usual Spanish pattern of negligible breakfast, snack about 11, then large lunch mid-afternoon and a big, late evening meal. Also in my experience travelling in various parts of Spain, the diet includes plenty of pork.’Every bit of the pig but the eyes.’.
The olive oil group was probably using that in place of other vegetable oils for cooking and salad. Vegetable oils like soy and corn oil are high in pro-inflammatory omega-6, and are often partially hydrogenated (ie trans fats.) Avoidance of these in the olive group could have made a difference.
Be cautious in coming to conclusions based upon this study. The sample size was small. Perhaps too little attention was paid to what the participants did not consume. We all know less red meat is better for health. The Mediterranean style diet is clearly a healthy diet but I’m not quite ready to attribute all the wonderful benefits to the diet alone.
Think lifestyle. Despite the increase in US style fast food restaurants in Spain, the overall dietary preference continues to be a Mediterranean diet. So how much of the study’s effect come from fast food avoidance?
BTW, yesterday was a totally Mediterranean day for me. Veggie pizza for lunch and a Greek salad with grilled chicken for dinner.