Benefits of Using the Mediterranean Diet to Manage Type II Diabetes Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

Beneficial effects of the Mediterranean Diet on Type 2 Diabetic Patients in the United Kingdom.

The beneficial effects of the Mediterranean Diet on Type 2 Diabetic Patients in the UK

Science of the problem

Type II diabetes progresses through two stages. The initial stage is referred to as insulin resistance. During this stage, the pancreas produces enough insulin, but the body's cell are unable to respond to insulin. The pancreas increases the production of insulin in the body to compensate for the resistance. The body cells absorb more and more insulin resulting in the pancreas continuously increasing its insulin production. Eventually, the pancreas will shut down the production of insulin because it is unable to keep up with the demand, which results in type II diabetes. The lack of sugar for conversion to energy results in the starvation of cells and there is a buildup of glucose levels in the blood. This could lead to life-threatening complications like cardiovascular diseases. The body's ability to process insulin is affected by fat, and this is the reason overweight people are more likely to develop type II diabetes. Hyperinsulinemia is a condition that develops when the levels of insulin in the blood are too high, which is caused by excessive production of insulin. The liver cells become insulin resistant, which leads to the cells making too much blood sugar. Since the cells are not absorbing blood sugar, it stays in the blood resulting in increased levels of blood sugar and leads to a condition called hyperglycemia. The high levels of glucose result in the damage of red blood cells. This is because sugar molecules are appended on the external part of the red blood cells thus forming a crystalline crust. When the red blood cells move within the circulatory system, the coarse crust causes damage to the arteries and capillaries. The liver produces cholesterol that the body uses to repair his damage, which leads to arterial plaque formation. The coarse red blood cells lead to further damage in fragile capillaries like the ones that feed the eyes and kidneys. This is the reason why type II diabetes is considered a chronic condition that results in blindness, amputation, kidney failure, and heart attack.

The Mediterranean diet is a nutritional model that inspired by traditional dietary patterns of countries in the Mediterranean basin especially Greece, Southern Italy, Cyprus, Spain, Turkey, and Portugal. The diets of these regions have a high concentration of fruits and vegetables, olive oil and fish, bread and other cereals, which makes the diet high in monounsaturated fats and dietary fiber and low in saturated fats. Olive oil contains high volumes of monounsaturated fats, which improves insulin sensitivity within the body (Khazrai, Defeudis and Pozzilli). In randomized trials, the Mediterranean diet has been shown to improve glucose control for diabetic patients. People who follow a Mediterranean diet reduce their risk of developing diabetes. Type II diabetic patients, who follow a Mediterranean diet, are able to reduce their mortality. A Mediterranean diet would lead to a high ratio of monounsaturated fatty acids since the diet mostly consists of fruits, vegetables, fish, cereals, olive oil, and low alcohol consumption. The diet serves as an anti-inflammatory dietary pattern. Since the person will be consuming less fatty foods, they will reduce the amount of fat in their body. The Mediterranean diet has also been found to lead to weight reduction, which is beneficial to type II diabetic patients. Excess weight has been linked to the development of type II diabetes. Taking meals low in cholesterol and using olive oil in cooking would lead to the lowering of cholesterol in the patient's body and increase the sensitivity of the body to insulin. The increased sensitivity would ensure that any insulin produced by the pancreas is absorbed and used as expected. Insulin resistance is reduced when a person in on a Mediterranean diet.

Chapter 2: Background of population

The meals consumed by English people varies. A majority of people prefer eating fast foods that are quite cheaper than the healthy meals. The availability of fast foods encourages more people to eat junk foods as opposed to healthy meals. Television advertisements have always presented fast foods as nutritional foods, and most people do not question the advertisements they see on TV, media, or billboards. The calorific intake that people are taking is higher, and their lifestyles are less active. In today's society, a person consuming 2000 calories a day and sits behind a desk all day is bound to become obese. The work environment has encouraged people to sit and work for longer hours without any physical activity during the day. People have also become quite lazy, and they prefer to sit and watch TV or stare at their computers instead of taking a walk, jogging, or exercising. This has contributed towards the increasing numbers of overweight people in UK. The long working hours that people put in the office leaves less time for preparing healthy meals, which results in the cheaper alternative. Fast foods have made people's lives easy, but they come at a huge expense. Readily available meals mostly have processed fats and sugars that are not easily absorbed by the cells. Processed sugars known as fructose is detrimental to an individual's health if consumed in large numbers. Fast foods do not readily induce satisfaction because they contain fructose, which means that a person is most likely to consume more than enough food.

The English people have a sweet tooth, and this leads to their increased consumption of cakes, chocolate, carbonated drinks, and desserts. Foods high in sugar have more calories, which could lead to weight gain. The amount of sugar one puts in their tea has been increasing over the years, and it is quite okay for a person to take three teaspoons of sugar with their tea. This is because the person's sweetness taste has changed, and they cannot taste little sugar. The rising number of type II diabetes is associated with the rising number of overweight people in the population. This does clearly show there is a correlation between the two variables.

In the UK, people do not consume alcohol moderately. Excessive consumption of alcohol is detrimental to a person's health and only small amounts of alcohol especially wine are recommended. The Mediterranean diet discourages consumption of alcohol in large quantities. Processed foods or fast foods are made using High-fructose corn syrup. HFCS is detrimental to a person's health because it does not stimulate insulin secretion or increase leptin production. In order to regulate food intake body weight leptin,, and insulin are vital. Consumption of too much fast foods results in weight gain, which leads to obesity. The amount of fiber consumed in a British diet has also decreased, and people prefer to have more red meat and less white meat. Fiber is essential to aid in the digestion and absorption of foods in the body. The amount of fat consumed in food has increased over time, and people are now consuming more fat in foods than before. Fat has more than twice calories when compared to protein or carbohydrate. Too much carbohydrate have been found to cause weight gain. It is urged that an individual reduces the amount of fat they use for cooking, and spread less margarine on bread. This will ensure that the processed fat consumed is reduced. The amount of food consumed in one seating has also increased. The portions consumed have a direct effect on the weight a person gains. Eating healthy foods, but in large portions will not have a positive effect.

Chapter 3: Conceptual framework

Type II diabetes mainly results from overweight and obese individuals (Ceriello et al.). This is because the patient's body is unable to manage glucose. This is why people suffering from type II diabetes are encouraged to lose weight and maintain a healthy diet. The Mediterranean diet is mostly recommended because it offers the individual an opportunity to consume foods that will enable the person to lose weight and promote their body cells sensitivity to insulin. Many nutritionists have recommended that patients follow a Mediterranean diet because it has been found to be effective in weight reduction when compared to other dietary interventions. A Mediterranean diet has been established to be beneficial on diabetes and glucose metabolism within the body. Mediterranean style diets have an emphasis on olive oil consumption because it is rich in monounsaturated fatty acid, which is beneficial to the body. Olive oil has also been found to stimulate the absorption of insulin by cell in the body (Huo et al. 2). For a type II diabetes patient, this would be beneficial because their body cells might have become insulin resistant. Stimulating insulin absorption is vital because it causes the pancreas to reduce insulin production and only produce what is required. The consumption of foods like fruits, vegetables, red wine, and whole grains offer the body anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects because the dietary polyphenols, fiber, and levels of adiponectin are…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Carter, P, et al. "A Mediterranean Diet Improves Hba1c but Not Fasting Blood Glucose Compared to Alternative Dietary Strategies: A Network Meta-Analysis." Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 27.3 (2014): 280-97. Print.

Ceriello, Antonio, et al. "The Protective Effect of the Mediterranean Diet on Endothelial Resistance to Glp-1 in Type 2 Diabetes: A Preliminary Report." Cardiovascular diabetology 13.1 (2014): 140. Print.

Huo, R, et al. "Effects of Mediterranean-Style Diet on Glycemic Control, Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Risk Factors among Type 2 Diabetes Individuals: A Meta-Analysis." European journal of clinical nutrition (2014). Print.

InterAct Consortium. "Mediterranean Diet and Type 2 Diabetes Risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (Epic) Study the Interact Project." Diabetes Care 34.9 (2011): 1913-18. Print.

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