Is the Mediterranean Diet Best for Diabetes?

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

A Mediterranean diet is best for people with diabetes because of its high fibre, antioxidants, and healthy fats. It is also low in saturated fats and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The Mediterranean diet is renowned for its heart-healthy benefits and for type 2 diabetes as well.

How Mediterranean Diet helps manage Diabetes?

The Mediterranean diet plan for diabetes has been around for some time now and famously consists of various plant-based foods and fish. Studies have shown that those who adopt a Mediterranean-style diet saw lowered and more controlled blood pressure, cholesterol levels and an improvement in their overall wellbeing. This may be due to many reasons including that this diet uses olive oil rather than butter, and sugar-based foods are specifically cut out because they're said to be unnecessary to a well-rounded person's diet. Additionally it also includes more fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, whole grains, and nuts, with lean meats, cereals, and dairy for protein.

Diabetes-Friendly Recommendations

1. Foods to Eat

a) Whole grains 

  • Brown rice
  • Barley
  • Whole-grain bread, rolls, tortillas, and pasta

b) Nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Cashews
  • Beans 
  • Chickpeas
  • Peas
  • Peanuts

c) Vegetables 

  • Tomatoes
  • Leafy greens
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Onions

d) Fruits 

  • Dates
  • Pomegranates
  • Citrus fruits 
  • Apples

e) Healthy fats

  • Olives
  • Olive oil

f) Drinks

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

g) Fresh fish and seafood 

  • Salmon
  • Healthy dairy, eggs, and poultry
  • Low-fat or nonfat milk

h) Herbs and spices 

  • Saffron
  • Mint
  • Ginger

2. Foods to Limit

  • Beef
  • Burgers
  • Butter
  • Sweets

3. Foods to Avoid

  • Processed meats 
  • Ultra-processed foods 
  • Fast food
  • Soda and other sweetened drinks

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Expert Tips

  • Keep an eye on the legumes.
  • The carb-to-fibre ratio of legumes is generally low, so they're great when you need a long-lasting gluten-free source of protein. 
  • Consult your physician about alcohol
  • It's simply a template for those who want to make swaps for their preferred foods. You should consult your physician first.
  • Make a few little adjustments to your plate.


The Mediterranean diet has long been heralded to improve your overall health. Follow our tips to use the Mediterranean diet for diabetes book to manage your type 2 diabetes, and you may be surprised at just how well it works!

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