The Mediterranean Diet is associated with improved quality of life in adults with type 1 diabetes

A higher degree of adherence to the Mediterranean Diet is associated with better quality of life in patients with type 1 diabetes. This is demonstrated by a multicentre study published in Nutrients and promoted by the CIBER group on diabetes and metabolic diseases (CIBERDEM) at the Sant Pau Biomedical Research Institute (IIB Sant Pau), led by Dr. Dídac Mauricio, head of the Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition Research Group at the Sant Pau Research Institute and director of the Endocrinology and Nutrition Service at Sant Pau Hospital.

Through personal interviews with 258 patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, the researchers administered specific quality of life questionnaires: the Audit of Diabetes-Dependent Quality of Life and the Diabetes Treatment Satisfaction, as well as a food consumption frequency questionnaire validated in the Spanish population. After analyzing the food pattern based on two indices: the alternate Mediterranean Diet Score (AMED) for the Mediterranean Diet and the alternate Healthy Eating Index (aHEI) for healthy eating, the results showed that moderate and high adherence to the Mediterranean Diet was associated with better quality of life in patients with type 1 diabetes.

As Dr. Didac Mauricio explains, “The results of the surveys show that adherence to the nutritional recommendations of the Mediterranean Diet are related to a higher quality of life in patients with diabetes. On the contrary, we did not observe any association with satisfaction with the overall treatment, although high adherence to the healthy eating pattern was positively related to the specific items “convenience” and “flexibility” and negatively to “recommending other patients with diabetes similar to their treatment received”.

Patients with type 1 diabetes receive medical-nutritional therapy based not only on carbohydrate management and adaptation to insulin treatment, but also nutritional recommendations based on the Mediterranean Diet, which is an important dietary pattern in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, especially in patients with diabetes.



Patients with type 2 diabetes, with greater adherence to this diet

Likewise, an article published in the journal Nutrients, which also has the participation of CIBERDEM and is also led by Doctor Mauricio, describes how people with type 2 diabetes show greater adherence to the postulates of the Mediterranean Diet.

The alternative Mediterranean Diet score (aMED) and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (aHEI) were calculated, and the statistical analysis included comparison between groups and multivariate models. Participants with DM2 showed higher aMED and aHEI scores compared to the control group without diabetes.

This study, which included 476 participants (238 with type 2 diabetes and 238 without) assessed the dietary pattern in people with and without the disease. “Our findings this time show that participants with diabetes had a healthier dietary pattern in aMED and aHEI compared to the groups without diabetes, and higher scores for both indices were positively associated with type 2 diabetes, older age and greater physical activity” said Dídac Mauricio.

In addition, the aMED score was also associated with the presence of dyslipidemia, while the aHEI score was related to female gender. In participants with DM2, age and dyslipidemia were associated with a higher aMED score and female gender was related to a higher aHEI score.



Link to reference articles:


The Mediterranean Diet is Associated with an Improved Quality of Life in Adults with Type 1 Diabetes

Minerva Granado-Casas, Mariona Martin, Montserrat Martínez-Alonso, Nuria Alcubierre, Marta Hernández, Núria Alonso, Esmeralda Castelblanco, and Dídac Mauricio

Spanish People with Type 2 Diabetes Show an Improved Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet

Nuria Alcubierre, Minerva Granado-Casas, Jordi Real, Hèctor Perpiñán, Esther Rubinat, Mireia Falguera, Esmeralda Castelblanco, Josep Franch-Nadal and Dídac Mauricio

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