Proof of the importance of the Mediterranean diet for adults with diabetes type 1

- Research

Researchers at the Biomedical Research Institute of Lleida (IRBLleida), the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP) and the Spanish Networked Group CIBER Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Diseases (CIBERDEM) have shown that adult patients with diabetes type 1 (DT1) have healthier eating habits and stick closer to the Mediterranean diet than non-diabetic subjects.It has been published in the European Journal of Nutrition and is the first study that tracks the adherence to the Mediterranean diet in this type of patient. A study has also evaluated the positive benefits of exercise for people with diabetes type 1.

Additionally the research shows the influence of place of residence on people's ability to stick to the Mediterranean diet, as patients in non-urban areas showed better eating habits.The first author of the article, Minerva Granado-Casas, explains that this research is an advance in demonstrating the importance of providing adequate nutritional training for the population to increase adherence to the Mediterranean diet, not only for diabetics, but also in the healthy population; to avoid the appearance of cardiovascular disease.

The comparative study was observational, it was carried out without requiring any action on 262 people with diabetes type 1 and 254 people without diabetes in two hospitals: the Arnau University Hospital of Vilanova and the Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital.The researchers conclude that more research is needed in this field to identify better strategies to help patients with diabetes type 1 to stick to a healthy diet.

Additionally, another article also written by researchers from IRBLleida and the IGTP and published in Nutrients, shows a possible preventive effect of a high intake of monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, and vitamin E on retinopathy in patients with type 1 diabetes.  This type of retinopathy occurs when small blood vessels in the retina of the eye are damaged and causes blindness.  In this case 103 cases of people with DT1 and diabetic retinopathy and 140 cases of people with DT1 without retinopathy were studied in the same two hospitals.

Both articles show the importance of diet for diabetes patients and the need to continue collecting evidence of this nature."We have shown that people with type 1 diabetes who receive nutritional training follow a healthier diet and that this brings them benefits.  It is necessary to implement programmes to achieve the same results in the general population," adds Dr Dídac Mauricio, Head of the CIBERDEM Group at the IGTP and leader of the research.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a general metabolic disorder in which patients have an abnormally high level of blood sugar.   In this type of diabetes the anomaly is due to an insufficient production of insulin.  It is most frequent in young people or children.


Granado-Casas, M., Alcubierre, N., Martín, M. et al. Eur J Nutr (2018).
Improved adherence to Mediterranean Diet in adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus

Granado-Casas, M.; Ramírez-Morros, A.; Martín, M.; Real, J.; Alonso, N.; Valldeperas, X.; Traveset, A.; Rubinat, E.; Alcubierre, N.; Hernández, M.; Puig-Domingo, M.; Lecube, A.; Castelblanco, E.; Mauricio, D. Type 1 Diabetic Subjects with Diabetic Retinopathy Show an Unfavorable Pattern of Fat Intake. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1184.