Beneficial effects of Korean traditional diets in hypertensive and type 2 diabetic patients

J Med Food. 2014 Jan;17(1):161-71. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2013.3042.


The prevalence of metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and diabetes has been increasing rapidly in Korea. The rate of increase has paralleled the replacement of Korean traditional diets (KTD), which emphasize vegetables and fermented foods, with western style dietary patterns that are rich in animal foods and saturated fat. We aimed to investigate the efficacy of the KTD in controlling fasting plasma glucose, blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease risk factors in hypertensive and type 2 diabetic (T2D) patients. Forty-one patients (61.8±1.5 years) who were taking medications prescribed for respective diseases were recruited from the Chonbuk National University Hospital for participation in a 12-week, parallel, controlled clinical trial. The control group (n=20) was advised to "eat as usual," whereas the experimental KTD diet group (n=21) was fed the KTD three times a day for 12 weeks. At the end of the trial, both groups had lower body mass index, % body fat, and waist-hip ratio compared to the baseline values (P<.05). Compared to the control group, the KTD group had a greater mean change (P<.05) from the baseline for glycated hemoglobin (HbA₁c) (-0.72% vs. -0.25%) and heart rate (-7.1 vs. +1.6). Regular consumption of the KTD for 12 weeks by hypertensive and T2D patients resulted in favorable changes in cardiovascular risk factors.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diet therapy*
  • Hypertension / metabolism
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Republic of Korea
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides