New York: Here comes a good news for people at risk for heart disease – and diabetes.

They just need to switch to a Mediterranean diet to prevent diabetes even if they do not lose weight or even do daily exercise, claims a new study.

Researchers have found that those following a Mediterranean diet – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and fats from either extra-virgin olive oil or nuts – were about 30 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

“The new findings do not take away from exercise and weight loss as methods to help prevent diabetes. Rather, the findings suggest that Mediterranean diet has its own additional benefits,” said Pieter Cohen, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

In the study, 3,541 adults in Spain were assigned to follow one of three diets – a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts or a low-fat diet.

None of the participants had diabetes at the start of the study but they had risk factors for heart disease, said the study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

The researchers found that those on Mediterranean diet with extra-virgin olive oil had a reduced risk of developing diabetes compared with the group following a low-fat diet.

Those who followed a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts also had a reduced risk of diabetes.

“We already know Mediterranean diet is good for your heart. Go with this diet now,” Cohen added.

According to Robert Graham, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, following Mediterranean diet is really a lifestyle change.

“Pay attention to what you put in your body,” he added.

Source: IANS