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Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of gestational diabetes

Eating a Mediterranean diet during pregnancy can potentially reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes, study finds

Diet is very important especially during pregnancy. It is said that a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Since studies have indicated that eating a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease in non-pregnant women, researchers believed that a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of gestational diabetes in pregnant women.

In a recent study published in the journal PLOS Medicine, researchers examined whether or not a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Researchers randomized 1,252 pregnant women from five maternity units, in London and Birmingham, to a Mediterranean-style diet. The women were enrolled in the study between September 12, 2014, and February 29, 2016. This diet consists of an increased intake of foods such as nuts, extra virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, and grains.

A total of 593 women were assigned to the Mediterranean diet group, while 612 were assigned to an alternate diet group. Women assigned to the Mediterranean diet group ate more nuts and extra virgin olive oil, while those assigned to the alternate diet increased their intake of fish and white meat.

Researchers also found that women who consumed a Mediterranean diet had a 35% reduced risk of gestational diabetes. These women also gained 2.75lbs less than those on the alternate diet.

The study noted several limitations, one of which is the use of obtaining dietary intake from about 40% of the participants enrolled in the study. This study sets a foundation for future studies on diet and its use to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes.

Written by Nicole A. Brown, MS

Reference: Wattar, B. H., Dodds, J., Placzek, A., Beresford, L., …, Thangaratinam, S. (2019). Mediterranean-style diest in pregnant women with metabolic risk facts (ESTEEM): A pragmatic multicenter randomized trial.

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