Can a High-Fat Mediterranean Diet Lower Diabetes Risk?
A Mediterranean diet with unrestricted fat intake may reduce cardiovascular (CV) events, breast cancer, and diabetes, according to new research.
A plethora of evidence has shown that a Mediterranean diet has positive health benefits, and research suggests that a Mediterranean diet may be healthier than a typical Western diet.
Mediterranean Diet Better Than Low-Fat Diet for Weight Loss?
Mediterranean Diet Lowers Risk of Adverse CV Events
However, the researchers from the Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research were unsure of how a Mediterranean diet with unrestricted fat intake would affect health outcomes in adults.
For their study, the researchers searched online databases from 1990 through April 2016 for controlled trials that included mortality, cardiovascular, hypertension, and adherence outcomes and for cohort studies that included cancer outcomes.
The researchers assessed risk of bias and strength of evidence for each data set.
Overall, a pooled analysis found that high adherence to a Mediterranean diet may reduce cancer mortality and incidence of total and colorectal cancer.
In one large primary prevention study, a Mediterranean diet reduced major CV events by 29%, breast cancer by 57%, and diabetes by 30%. In one of the 3 secondary prevention studies that included CV outcomes, a Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of recurrent heart attacks and CV mortality. In 2 primary prevention studies, all-cause mortality rates did not differ between groups.
“Limited evidence suggests that a Mediterranean diet with no restriction on fat intake may reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events, breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes mellitus but may not affect all-cause mortality,” the researchers concluded.
Bloomfield HE, Koeller E, Greer N, MacDonald R, Kane R, Wilt TJ. Effects on health outcomes of a Mediterranean diet with no restriction on fat intake: a systematic review and meta-analysis [published online July 19, 2016]. Ann Intern Med. doi: 10.7326/M16-0361.