A new study, published online 10/07/10, in DIABETES CARE, showed that diabetics with a high cardiovascular risk, halved the incidence of diabetes type 2 over a four-year period, compared to those put on a low-fat diet. The principle components of a Mediterranean diet were: 1) a reduction in red meat consumption-either white meat or fish instead, 2) inclusion of olive oil for cooking and dressing, 3) increased consumption of fruit, legumes, and veges, 4) moderate consumption of red wine, 5) reduced consumption of butter, cream, fast-food, sweets, pastries, and sugar-sweetened beverages, 6) use of tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices (all with olive oil) to dress up sauces, salads, and pasta dishes. Sounds good to me.

Another way to improve your cholesterol profile without drugs-walnuts. I’ve talked about the benefits of nuts before. More and more studies are backing up earlier reports of the robust health that nuts offer. A new study has shown that eating 1/4 cup, or 14 walnut halves, can reduce LDL cholesterol by a whopping 7%! According to Dr. Oz, that’s powerful stuff! And, that’s not all. It also appears that walnuts can actually dilate blood vessels (like nitroglycerine), and actually clean plaque out of arterial walls, caused by high sugar intake. All nuts are good for you, and, although they are high in calories, they are nutrient dense, meaning that they give you a big bang for the buck. Just replace the empty calories in your diet (re. soda, beer , wine, chips, etc.) with nuts. This study also sowed that total cholesterol dropped by 5%.

Finally, according to an article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating whole grains leads to a reduction in visceral fat stores. With the current obesity rates escalating exponentially, this is great news. The researchers found a relationship between 3 servings of whole grain products per day ( cracked, stone ground, or flaked fruit), with a decreased body mass index (BMI), abdominal fat, and less tendency to gain weight. 

In summary, include nuts into your diet, eat whole grains,  and go more Mediterranean-not exactly Earth-shattering news, but a good reminder.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.