Benefit Of Mediterranian Diet: The astounding facts
Numerous recent research findings support the health benefit of Mediterranian diet, lifestyle and Mediterranean food being the most sensible healthy eating option open to you; irrespective of your current health circumstances.
The eating habits of people of the Mediterranean region has,
since 1950's up until recently, been the subject of extensive
studies, it having been observed that Mediterranean
people - and Cretians in particular, have an exceptionally
long life expectancy.
These studies subsequently triggered numerous investigations
into the health benefit of Mediterranian diet; the Mediterranean people's low incidence of degenerative
diseases; their longevity, while at the same time throwing further light on a number of contributory factors pertaining to the many health benefits of Mediterranian diet and Mediterranean people's lifestyle.
benefit of Mediterranian diet
in decreasing incidence of chronic illnesses
The general consensus among health professionals as to the benefit of Mediterranian diet and Mediterranean food, is that it is far healthier than the North European and American diet.
The health benefit of Mediterranean diet is largely attributed
to Mediterranean foods consisting largely of grains, fruit,
vegetables, beans (legumes), nuts and olive oil.
Olive oil, in place of saturated animal fats
(such as butter, milk, cream, lard etc.,) provide
a rich source of monounsaturated fats, that guards against
There is firm proof that olive oil provide
one of the key health benefit of the Mediterranian diet. Not
only is it healthy, olive oil - which contains antioxidants,
can actually help lower harmful LDL cholesterol and inhibit
arterial build-up. This is further evidenced by the
surprising finding of the Seven Countries Study that despite
consuming up to 40 percent of their calories from fat, people
living on the Greek Island of Crete, had the lowest rate of
heart disease and the highest life expectancy in the world -
along with Japan.
The clear health benefit of
Mediterranian diet, which is low in harmful saturated fats, yet
high in unsaturated fats - derived from olive oil and oily
fish, has clearly established the reason Mediterranean people
experience lower incidence of heart disease.
Further evidence of the benefit of Mediterranian diet being a
healthy option for people with heart disease, is borne
out of research and in particular, the Lyon Heart Study,
published in 1999 (Journal of the American Heart Association).
Research was conducted on two random groups of heart attack
survivors studied over a two year period. One group were
advised to eat a low fat diet designed for heart patients,
while the other group were assigned the
Mediterranian diet. The positive effects and
benefit of the Mediterranean diet on the group began to occur within
the first two months of observation. The additional health
benefit on Mediterranian diet group were plain to see, since
their risk of a second heart attack was dramatically reduced
by 70% compared to those eating the low fat diet.
The study, which was scheduled to run for five years was
brought to an end on ethical grounds, since it was found
that the health benefit of Mediterranian diet equated to a 70%
lower death rate compared to the other group. A further
significant discovery as to the bennefit of Mediterranian diet
related to the finding that cancer rates among the
Mediterranean diet group were significantly lower than those
of the other group.
These findings were unique, in as much as there had never
before been any such results from other types of diet,
drug or even medical procedure, marking a turning point in
the whole concept of the healthy eating diet.
Various other research carried out to study the benefit of
Mediterranian diet / Asian diet and lifestyles, attest to this
way of healthy eating and healthy living being a sensible
option for decreasing the risks of many chronic diseases such
as coronary heart disease, the onset diabetes, prostrate, colon
and breast cancers, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Other documented benefits of the Mediterranian diet include
body fat loss, lowered blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels and increased energy levels. Overall, the apparent health benefit of Mediterranean diet would appear to be, not merely about what and how you eat but equally about how you live.
benefit of Mediterranian
diet on longevity
In addition to the numerous research showing the lowered
incidence of chronic diseases of coronary heart disease
and cancers etc., a further benefit of Mediterranian diet
is an above average expected life-span.
A 4 year study of many thousands of people
residing in Greece, assessed their health in accordance with
how closely they followed their traditional mediterranean diet.
It was found that the more closely they did so, the less
likelihood there was of their dying from either cancer
or heart-related disease. The findings also found a
further benefit of Mediterranian diet being that those
who followed the diet, derived an advantage of being
less likely to die in the study's duration.
From yet another study into the Asian diet, it emerged that
when people from one Japanese Island settled in Western
countries, adopting Western diets and lifestyles, their life
expectancy dropped by 17 years.
The Seven Countries Study by Professor Ancel Keys in 1958,
studied the diet, lifestyle and incidence of coronary heart
disease among several thousand randomly selected middle-
aged men from seven countries - i.e. the US, Italy, Greece,
Japan, Italy, Yugoslavia, Finland and the Netherlands.
The study, which lasted for over 10 years, revealed that
in the Mediterranean and Asian countries - i.e. Greece,
Japan and Southern Italy, where diets consist of vegetables,
grains, fruit, beans, nuts and fish, heart disease was rare.
However, in the other countries - e.g. the Finland and the
US where saturated fats were being heavily consumed
via foods such as red meat, cheese and refined products, heart
disease was found to be high.
Professor Keys concluded that while diet played a primary
role in the onset of coronary heart disease, that food intake
was not perhaps the only benefit of Mediterranian diet
and that there may be other factors involved. He observed that both
Mediterranean and Asian people led active lifestyles, had
strong family ties and that their pace of life was
leisurely. In a nutshell, his findings showed that although
the Mediterranian food and diet was the single most important factor, it was a combination
of dietary and lifestyle considerations that were credited
with the notable low rates of heart disease among the
Mediterranean and Asian countries.
The evidence points to the fact that Mediterranean people who become
accustomed to a Western diet and lifestyle, are substantially
increasing their risk of developing chronic diseases. Conversely
other studies show that non-Mediterranean people who
adopt the Mediterranean lifestyle and the Mediterranean diet,
significantly improve their health, at the same time
by decreasing their risk exposure to diseases.
The significance of these findings shed light on the fact that
both Mediterranean and Asian people who adhere to their
traditional lifestyles and eating habits, are the longest
living; and, that this has nothing to do with genetics but
is primarily the result of a healthy eating diet and lifestyle.
"Some people have learned to earn
well, but they haven't learned to live well".
benefit of Mediterranean diet on longevity
Click Here! To learn how you too can adopt and gain from the many benefits of Mediterranian diet and lifestyle. A clear benefit of Mediterranian diet is that it can specifically help you to lose weight at the same time
you're becoming healthier.
You might also find helpful, the extensive list of frequently asked questions (Faq's) on what is the
There are various food pyramids and it can be difficult to
distinguish between them. If you're curious or confused as to
what the USDA Pyramid, the MyPyramid or the Healthy Eating Pyramid
each stands for, you can find out here.
Keys A. Mediterranean diet and public health: personal
reflections. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1995)
Kromhout D, Keys A, Aravanis C, et al. Food consumption
patterns in the 1960s in seven countries. American Journal
of Clinical Nutrition (1989) 49:889-894.
Keys A. Seven countries: a multivariate analysis of death
and coronary heart disease. London: Harvard University
The information on this site is purely of educational value
and is not intended to replace your seeking medical advice. You
must consult your doctor over all your health concerns.
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