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Dietary Recommendations for Diabetics and Non-Diabetics Should be the Same

Diabetics are often told to follow a diet that differs from the dietary guidelines recommended for non-diabetics. A recent study suggests, however, that diabetics and non-diabetics should follow the same dietary guidelines. However, the benefits of adhering to a healthy diet are greater for people with diabetes.

The study included approximately 260,000 individuals without diabetes and 6,384 with diabetes, all of whom participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

The researchers examined overall mortality risk factors that included consumption of 26 different food groups, smoking, alcohol consumption, BMI, waist/height ratio and physical activity.

They found that eating healthier foods such as fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, poultry, and vegetable oil was associated with a lower mortality risk for diabetics and non-diabetics. Conversely, less healthy foods such as soft drinks, butter, margarine, cake, and cookies were associated with a higher mortality risk for both groups. However, the effect of healthy food choices for diabetics was stronger than that for non-diabetics.

No difference in mortality risk was found between diabetics and non-diabetics for the other lifestyle factors mentioned above.

Researchers from the Department of Epidemiology at the German Institute of Human Nutrition conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on October 17, 2013, in the journal Diabetologia.

As this study has shown, both diabetics and non-diabetics should take care to follow a healthy diet. One increasingly popular and effective diet is known as the Mediterranean diet, which includes lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, olive oil, and nuts.

This diet has been to improve heart health, lower the risk of Alzheimer’s, diabetes, asthma, lower rates of obesity and even decrease the overall risk of mortality.

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