An informal poll as to how many follow a Mediterranean meal plan?

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  #31  
Old 04-10-2013, 04:14 PM
Villages PL Villages PL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graciegirl View Post
Okinawa diet has pork, fish and poultry.

Okinawa diet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I promised you a comparison with the American diet because it's misleading to say pork, fish and poultry without putting it into perspective. So here it is:

Total animal protein consumption (by weight) for Okinawan elders: 15%

Total animal protein consumption (by weight) for Americans: 52%

As a rule, the further away a diet gets from animal protein, the healthier it is. IMO, that's what put the Okinawan diet at the top of the list for healtiest diets around the world.
  #32  
Old 04-10-2013, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Villages PL View Post
I promised you a comparison with the American diet because it's misleading to say pork, fish and poultry without putting it into perspective. So here it is:

Total animal protein consumption (by weight) for Okinawan elders: 15%

Total animal protein consumption (by weight) for Americans: 52%

As a rule, the further away a diet gets from animal protein, the healthier it is. IMO, that's what put the Okinawan diet at the top of the list for healtiest diets around the world.

I didn't vote.
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  #33  
Old 04-13-2013, 09:20 AM
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The Science Behind the Mediterranean Diet:




Why It Works by Connie Diekman, Med, RD, LD, FADA and Sam Sotiropoulos

The Mediterranean diet first evolved as a result of studies by Dr. Ancel Keys. Dr. Keys was a physiologist who first became interested in the diets of Italians when he was stationed in Italy and observed differences in diet and in overall health. One population group that was of particular interest to him was the inhabitants of Crete, who had a diet that consisted of 40 percent of calories from fat, but had the lowest levels of cholesterol and heart disease versus other Mediterranean countries.
In 1958, in response to this observation, he started the fifteen-year Seven Countries Study. The Seven Countries Study looked at the eating patterns of more than 12,000 men in Finland, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the United States, and Yugoslavia.
The study found that the more saturated fat people consumed, the higher their blood cholesterol levels and the rate of death from cardiovascular disease. The study found that the higher the saturated fat intake, as a percent of calories, the higher the disease rate.
The fact that saturated fats were reviewed based on percent of total calories is important to the outcomes, since several Mediterranean countries consume high-fat diets but the percent of calories from saturated fat is low. Of the seven countries, Greece, Italy, and Japan had the lowest cholesterol levels and the lowest number of deaths from cardiovascular disease.
The diet of the island of Crete at the time of the study was high in olive oil, olives, grains, beans, nuts, vegetables, and minimal amounts of fish. One of the key factors of the diet was that the foods were consumed in their natural or whole form and not in more processed forms. In addition, they consumed wine on a daily basis. It is the diet of Crete that led to the use of the term Mediterranean diet.

Diet Benefits

Dr. Keys observed that the use of fats like olive oil, along with a low intake of saturated fat, must be the main factors in the reduction of cholesterol, even though the fat intakes were often much higher than what would be expected to be a healthful intake. Along with this focus on unsaturated fats, he observed that in Crete and Japan the intake of fruits, nuts, and legumes, all very rich in folate, calcium, and vitamins E and C, might also be factors.
Animals in the Mediterranean region generally feed on grass rather than grain, so they were higher in the healthier polyunsaturated fats. The same could be said for dairy products, since dairy cattle also fed on grass rather than feed. Diet patterns in the Mediterranean were also rich in nuts, with walnuts often served as part of a meal; again, boosting the intake of healthier fats.
Dr. Keys continued his work with his colleague, Dr. Henry Blackburn, at the Minnesota Heart Health Program, which also looked at switching sources of fats to boost the healthier unsaturated fats while decreasing the cholesterol-raising saturated fats.
The Lyon Diet Heart Study

The Lyon Diet Heart Study built on the outcomes of the Seven Countries Study. The Lyon Diet Heart Study was a clinical trial that compared a standard American Heart Association diet to a traditional Mediterranean diet with the goal of determining if one was more effective in reducing the rate of recurrences of heart disease after a first heart attack. The study, which lasted for five years, involved more than 600 patients who had had a previous heart attack. Key components of the Mediterranean diet group were:
  • Use of olive oil and canola oil margarine
  • Wide variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Moderate intake of chicken, fish, and wine
The study found that those in the Mediterranean-type diet group had a 72 percent reduction in deaths from heart disease and heart attacks versus the other diet group. The study also found a 61 percent reduction in incidence of cancer in the Mediterranean diet group. This study was followed by other studies in men and women with mixed outcomes, but the overall outcomes continued to support the benefits of a Mediterranean-type diet in reducing risk of heart disease.
The common factors associated with reduced risk seem to be the large portion of vegetables, fruits, and beans as well as the use of olive oil. The high antioxidant content of plant foods is one assumed factor in reduced disease risk, but the folate content of fruits and vegetables may also be an important aspect. Other studies have indicated the benefit might be due to the combination of the foods as opposed to any one food or food group.
North Karelia Study

Another study that followed the Seven Country Study was the North Karelia Study, conducted by the country of Finland to determine if the Mediterranean diet could reduce the very high levels of heart disease in Finland. The diet of Finland was traditionally very high in saturated fat, due to the high consumption of full-fat dairy foods like cheese, cream, and whole milk. At the same time, and due to the climate of Finland, the diet was very low in vegetables and fruits.
The North Karelia Study involved community education for diet change, incorporating community tips for healthier eating, steps to boost availability of produce, and guidelines on how to reduce full-fat dairy intake. Study outcomes showed a 50 percent drop in deaths from heart disease. The North Karelia Study has remained a point of reference for healthy eating in Finland, with current dietary guidelines using the same types of community education, policy development, and efforts toward food availability.
What is folate?
Folate, or folic acid, is a B vitamin that helps control blood levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine is a compound that has been linked to increased risk for heart disease. Folate is found in orange juice, broccoli, spinach, beans, avocados, and enriched grain foods. For maximum health, consume 400 micrograms each day; this is equal to about one and a half cups of cooked spinach.

Evidence Consolidated

For many people, all of these studies are more overwhelming than they are helpful, so what do they actually say? The studies done on the traditional Mediterranean diet all clearly show a connection to better health and less death from heart disease. While questions continue about the exact mechanism for this improvement in health and the reduction in death rate, the benefits of the diet outweigh the unknown.
The Mediterranean diet is an excellent source of a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. It adds plenty of healthy fats and the fiber content is excellent. Whatever each study proves about the Mediterranean diet and how it connects to health promotion, the one point that is very clear is that it is an eating plan that will keep you feeling good and support your health.
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