This is according to researchers at the Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research in Milan and Athens University in Greece.
They say that eating foods such as fruit, vegetables and olive oil while cutting down on starch and sugars can reduce the chances of type 2 diabetes by 20%.
Scientists looked at 22,295 people over the course of an 11-year period and found that 2,330 were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Each volunteer completed a questionnaire on their dietary habits, and the results were compared against diabetes numbers.
Eating a Mediterranean-style diet has already been linked to lowering the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
Libby Dowling, clinical adviser at the charity Diabetes UK, said, "The study suggests that people who adopt a Mediterranean-style diet can also reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes."