Type 2 Diabetes – Regaining Healthy Blood Sugar and Weight After Gestational Diabetes

Having developed temporary diabetes during pregnancy, known as Gestational diabetes, puts women at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes later on in their life. Researchers at the University of Madrid in Spain performed a study to discover whether the Mediterranean diet could be used to prevent Type 2 diabetes in women with a history of Gestational diabetes. Their results were reported on in the journal Comprehensive Nutrition in October 2014.

Two hundred and sixty women who had Gestational diabetes were enrolled in the study six to twelve weeks following delivery, and with normal blood sugar levels…

  • half the women were educated on the Mediterranean diet and were enrolled in a physical activity program.
  • the other half were given conventional care.

Among the mothers in the Mediterranean diet and exercise group…

  • 42.8 percent developed high blood sugar levels after three years.

Among the mothers in the conventional care group…

  • 56.75 percent developed high blood sugar levels.

Having a body mass index (BMI) of less than 27, taking in low amounts of fat, eating little saturated fat, and eating healthy fats were all associated with a low risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

From the above results it was concluded treatment with the Mediterranean diet and physical activity helped prevent full-blown Type 2 diabetes, and that weight gain and unhealthy fat intake were associated with the development of high blood sugar levels.

The Mediterranean diet bases every meal upon…

  • fruits,
  • vegetables,
  • whole grains,
  • olive oil,
  • legumes,
  • nuts,
  • seeds,
  • herbs, and
  • spices.

Other foods are eaten sparingly, if at all. Other studies have shown vegan diets to be helpful for controlling blood sugar levels. Combining the two kinds of diet is a simple matter.

The American Diabetes Association website has some good recipes combining Mediterranean and vegan features. Crispy Baked Broccoli is one example. It calls for…

  • nonstick cooking spray,
  • broccoli florets,
  • garlic powder,
  • onion powder,
  • soy sauce, and
  • olive oil.

Good Gazpacho is another example, calling for…

  • tomatoes,
  • zucchini,
  • cucumbers,
  • onion,
  • garlic,
  • red bell pepper,
  • balsamic vinegar,
  • vegetable juice, and
  • pepper.

Mediterraneanvegan.com suggests making Sicilian Caponata with eggplant, olive oil, onion, green bell pepper, tomatoes, carrot, basil, green olives, capers, oregano, sugar (substitute), and raisins (optional). From the same website comes Turkish Kuskonmaz, or salad, with asparagus, mushrooms, olive oil, pepper, lemon juice, and whole grain rice (optional).

Getting enough calories with a variety of foods will provide enough protein in a vegan diet. The main nutrient of concern is vitamin B12. Nutritive yeast and foods with B12 added can provide the 2.4 mcg recommended for individuals over 14 years of age.

Eat healthily and you can lower your blood sugar levels and your weight.

Pungky Dwiasmoro Hiswardhani

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