(Reuters Health) – For people recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, eating lots of olive oil, fish and whole grains slows progression of the disease more than restricting fat, according to a new analysis.

In a trial that followed participants for more than eight years, those following a so-called Mediterranean diet went significantly longer before needing diabetes medication and more of them had their diabetes go into remission, compared to those on a low-fat diet.

“There’s been lots of epidemiology suggesting that a Mediterranean diet was beneficial with metabolic syndrome and diabetes,” Dr. Leanne Olansky told Reuters Health.

“But this was a randomized controlled trial, so we know it really was the diet causing the results,” she said. “This is the kind of evidence that we use to determine if drugs are effective.”

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