I had look at the Medline PubMed database of medical journal articles
( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi ) to see if any
serious studies have been published that might answer your question.
A study carried out in Spain showed that a Mediterranean diet has
beneficial effects on glucose metabolism and blood glucose in healthy
Published Diabetologia. 2001 Nov; Volume 44 (no. 11) pages 2038-43.
A Mediterranean and a high-carbohydrate diet improve glucose
metabolism in healthy young persons.
Perez-Jimenez F, Lopez-Miranda J, Pinillos MD, Gomez P, Paz-Rojas E,
Montilla P, Marin C, Velasco MJ, Blanco-Molina A, Jimenez Pereperez
JA, Ordovas JM.
Lipid and Arteriosclerosis Research Unit and the Biochemistry
Laboratory, Reina Sofia University Hospital and Medical School,
University of Cordoba, Spain.
We investigated the effects of a diet enriched in monounsaturated
fatty acids (Mediterranean diet) and a low fat, high-carbohydrate diet
(CHO) on in vivo and in vitro glucose metabolism in 59 young subjects
(30 men and 29 women).
RESULTS: In comparison to the saturated fat diet, the CHO and
Mediterranean diets induced a decrease of LDL-cholesterol (p < 0.001)
and HDL-cholesterol (p < 0.001). Steady-state plasma glucose decreased
(p = 0.023) and basal and insulin-stimulated 2-deoxiglucose uptake in
peripheral monocytes increased in both diets (CHO and Mediterranean),
(p = 0.007) indicating an improvement in insulin sensitivity.
CONCLUSION/INTERPRETATION: Isocaloric substitution of carbohydrates
and monounsaturated fatty acids for saturated fatty acids improved
insulin sensitivity in vivo and in vitro, with an increase in glucose
disposal. Both diets are an adequate alternatives for improving
glucose metabolism in healthy young men and women.
Abstract at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11719836&dopt=Abstract
An Italian study of a Mediterranean diet in diabetics found that it is
important to control the types of starchy foods that are eaten:
Published in Nutrition Reviews, 2003 May, Volume 61 (No. 5 Pt 2) pages
Glycemic index of local foods and diets: the Mediterranean experience.
Riccardi G, Clemente G, Giacco R.
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Federico II
University, Medical School, Naples, Italy.
The Mediterranean diet is a healthful eating pattern associated with
the prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD). Its main features are
moderate intake of total fat (predominantly monounsaturated fat), low
consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol-rich foods, and high
intake of starch.
We therefore evaluated the glycemic response to starchy foods
based on wheat (typical of the Italian diet) in patients with type 2
diabetes and identified certain characteristics of foods explaining
their effects on postprandial glucose response. We found that
spaghetti and potato dumplings, because of their low blood glucose
response, represent a valid alternative to other starchy foods typical
of the Mediterranean diet. Food structure plays an important role in
determining the accessibility of starch to digestion, thus influencing
the postprandial blood glucose response, which modulates plasma
insulin and lipid levels.
A diabetes specialist from Belgium has expressed the following
Diet has traditionally played an important role in diabetic therapy.
Over the years, various diets have been proposed, often without
scientific evidence. One of the main errors was (is) to speculate that
there exists a direct linear correlation between the injection of x
units of insulin and the utilization of y grams of glucose. If this
were true, one should give more insulin to practice physical activity.
In reality, it is the reverse. Dietary recommendations issued over the
last few years are the same for diabetic and non-diabetic individuals
in order to avoid degenerative diseases. In many countries, the intake
of fat is too high, and that of complex carbohydrates too low. The
so-called 'Mediterranean diet', in combination with appropriate
insulin therapy, may be optimal. This consists mainly of fiber-rich
complex carbohydrates (grain), vegetables, fruits, fish, and olive
Published in Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism 2003 Feb; Volume
16(no. 2) pp. 131-48.
Dietary management for children and adolescents with diabetes
mellitus: personal experience and recommendations.
Dorchy H. Clinique de Diabetologie, Hopital Universitaire des Enfants
Reine Fabiola, Bruxelles, Belgium
Abstract at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12713249&dopt=Abstract
I hope this answers your question, but please request further
clarification if required.