Researchers from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences conducted a cross-sectional study to identify the major dietary patterns among type 2 diabetes patients, as well as their association with complications arising from diabetes in the Gaza Strip in Palestine.
They recruited 1,200 male and female participants between the ages of 20 and 64, who had previously been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and were receiving care in primary healthcare centres in the Gaza Strip.
Their dietary patterns were evaluated via a food frequency questionnaire, and an interview-based questionnaire was used to record additional information such as demographic details and medical history variables.
The researchers subsequently observed two major dietary patterns among the study’s subjects: an Asian-like pattern, and a pattern characterised by sweets, soft drinks, and snacks.
The Asian-like diet consisted of a high intake of whole grains, potatoes, beans, legumes, vegetables and fruits, and the study participants who were on this diet tended to exhibit lower odds when it came to high blood pressure, kidney problems, heart disease, issues with their extremities and neurological problems.
The researchers said those on the Asian-like diet had a reduced risk of developing hypertension, though “no significant association was found between the sweets / soft drinks / snacks pattern with diabetes complications”.
They also stated that there was an “a significant inverse association between the Asian-like pattern with kidney problems”, as well as with heart disease.
Furthermore, they wrote, “the results of our study revealed that the Asian-like pattern may be associated with a lower prevalence of extremities and neurological problems”.
They added that “the Asian-like pattern has been shown to be the healthiest dietary pattern… which (is) generally recommended as a healthy dietary pattern low in animal foods, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and simple sugar, which may be associated with a higher risk of diabetes and its complications”.
Positive indications, but further research needed
The researchers wrote that the study’s results pointed to an association between an Asian-style diet and a “lower prevalence of diabetes complications among type 2 diabetes patients”.
They concluded that though “the Asian-like pattern may be associated with a lower prevalence of diabetes complications among type 2 diabetes patients in Gaza Strip, Palestine. Further future studies are required to confirm these findings”.
Source: Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
“Association of dietary patterns with diabetes complications among type 2 diabetes patients in Gaza Strip, Palestine: a cross sectional study”
Authors: Abdel Hamid el Bilbeisi, et al.