Impact of a Mediterranean Dietary Pattern and Its Components on Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Glucose Control, and Body Weight in People with Type 2 Diabetes: A Real-Life Study

Nutrients. 2018 Aug 10;10(8):1067. doi: 10.3390/nu10081067.


This study evaluates the relation of a Mediterranean dietary pattern and its individual components with the cardiovascular risk factors profile, plasma glucose and body mass index (BMI) in people with type 2 diabetes. We studied 2568 participants at 57 diabetes clinics. Diet was assessed with the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) questionnaire, adherence to the Mediterranean diet was evaluated with the relative Mediterranean diet score (rMED). A high compared to a low score was associated with a better quality of diet and a greater adherence to the nutritional recommendations for diabetes. However, even in the group achieving a high score, only a small proportion of participants met the recommendations for fiber and saturated fat (respectively 17% and 30%). Nonetheless, a high score was associated with lower values of plasma lipids, blood pressure, glycated hemoglobin, and BMI. The relationship of the single food items components of the rMED score with the achievement of treatment targets for plasma lipids, blood pressure, glucose, and BMI were also explored. The study findings support the Mediterranean dietary model as a suitable model for type 2 diabetes and the concept that the beneficial health effects of the Mediterranean diet lie primarily in its synergy among various nutrients and foods rather than on any individual component.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; cardiovascular risk; diabetes; glucose control; plasma lipids; relative Mediterranean diet score.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Diet, Healthy*
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritive Value
  • Patient Compliance
  • Protective Factors
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Lipids
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human