How to get healthy while you lose weight – is there a way?
What is this information going to help you with…?
Around Sept 2004, there were some articles and an abundance of research aimed at the Mediterranean diet. Many industrialized countries like the United States, found heart disease and cancer had replaced infectious diseases as the top killers, and medicine had shifted its focus from vaccines and quarantines to Littoral and lifestyle.
People who live near the Mediterranean Sea who ate lots of fruit, vegetables, and nuts and little saturated fat, lived longer on average and have less heart disease than Americans, some professionals and researchers suspected that the diet made the difference. As a result, 2 studies by European researchers looked at the effects of a Mediterranean diet on health.
They were trying to find out whether a Mediterranean-style diet can help people live longer and healthier lives?
How they did this;
Study paper 1: The researchers collected data through a couple of different surveys of people aged approximately 70 to 90 from 13 different countries throughout Europe, Finland to Portugal. Participants answered questions about smoking, drinking, and physical activity, and nutritionists collected in depth information relating to their diets.
The test group of people were monitored over 15 years to keep track of deaths. Those who conducted the second study recruited 180 people undergoing treatment for metabolic syndrome. This is characterized by obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetic symptoms. Some participants went to monthly small-group counseling sessions and received advice on the benefits of a Mediterranean diet.
Other participants had similar sessions however, they were given only general advice on how to eat a balanced diet, and were not advised about specific foods to eat or avoid. This study was thorough and according to the report lasted for a two year period. It included blood tests, heart-rate measures, and other laboratory tests.
It seems that both the studies revealed impressive results strongly favoring the Mediterranean diet. Study number 1 showed people who ate a Mediterranean-style diet reduced their risk of dying during the follow-up period by approximately 25 percent.
People who ate those kinds of foods, were physically active, moderate drinkers, and hadn’t smoked in at least 15 years achieved less than half the mortality rate of others in the study. All factors individually were associated with lower death rates, too.
In the second study, less than half of the people in the group counseled about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet still had symptoms of metabolic syndrome after two years, when only 12 from 90 in the non counseled group had successfully managed to control their symptoms.
It was also found that symptoms such as high blood pressure and sugar sensitivity went away even after controlling weight, showing that the Mediterranean diet may help patients with metabolic disorder even if they don’t lose weight.
What it means:
The studies mentioned above provide strong evidence of the benefits of a diet low in saturated fats and high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables. As a matter of weighted interest, Harvard epidemiologist E. Rimm points out in a related editorial.
Americans spend billions of dollars a year on cures for diseases they could prevent at a fraction of the cost by changing their diet and lifestyle – with greater benefits. People who do not smoke, do not drink heavily, are active for at least 30 minutes a day, and who eat a Mediterranean style diet will highly likely live longer than those who don’t.
Many different foods together in both experiments so that they could tell whether the Mediterranean diet, as a whole, helps prolong life or reduce symptoms of metabolic disorders. Having said that, neither study was able to say whether specific foods in the Mediterranean diet caused the effects they saw or whether it was the combination of all the foods in the diet.