Go Mediterranean!

by June M Lay M.S. • More.com Member { View Profile }

Reduce several cardiovascular risk factors (considered a primary prevention) and/or reduce cardiovascular events or mortality in those of us patients after a first cardiac event (considered a secondary prevention). The reduction of risk factors include lowered high cholesterol levels, hypertension, diabetes and obesity, all which lead to coronary heart disease (isn’t pasta so tasty?).
 
Play a role in cancer prevention. While these eating patterns are not a "diet", they include vital nutrients that are known to fight cancer, such as antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  In one study reported in the latest Global Perspective of Cancer Research, the Mediterranean Diet was associated with a reduced colorectal cancer recurrence in women for instance.  
 
Increase our lifespan. Research has shown an overall reduction of mortality, not only from these chronic diseases Americans are plagued by such as heart disease, but  science has consistently shown a reduction of overall mortality rates. Don’t we think that this is important not only to our longevity, but to our anti-aging health & wellness too?
 
Reduce Inflammation. New research indicates that Olive Oil, a major component of the Mediterranean Diet eaten daily over a period of time, may confer anti-inflammatory benefits similar to Ibuprofen  (active ingredient in Advil). This may contribute to the anti-inflammatory benefits important to our cardiovascular system (similar to a baby aspirin taken daily). It may also play a key role in the reduction of early dementia thought to be a component of cognitive decline in aging and it may play a similar role in Alzheimer’s prevention.
 
Lower our risk for insulin resistance and type II diabetes. Of course I overindulged on desserts in Sicily, but overall the eating patterns of the Mediterranean people consist of fresh whole foods and less of the simple nutrient-less sugar snacks than we Americans partake in. Let’s also not forget the role that the fast foods we eat play in obesity, insulin resistance and the onset of type II diabetes. Fast food is definitely not a way of life in the Mediterranean (and we don’t have to slave over a stove either
 

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