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Studies Show Benefits of Mediterranean Diet

Studies Show Benefits of Mediterranean Diet

Posted - Sep. 24, 2004 at 9:03 a.m.



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Dr. Kim Mulvihill reporting There's new evidence showing that a Mediterranean diet leads to a longer, healthier life.

There are two studies. The first found a Mediterreanean diet minimizies your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The second study provides the evidence why, that eating Greek cuts inflammation, and protects your body's blood vessel function.

Now, many might think a Mediterranean diet is full of pasta, cheese, wine and dipping bread into olive oil - you know, your typical Italian feast.

Let's go back to the island of Crete where the diet was born and see what was on the menu:

Dr. Paul Hopkins/ Preventive Cardiologist: "No mention of pasta, no mention of cheese. Typical breakfast, whole grain bread, working in the fields all day. Coming home for their main meal at lunch that's mostly vegetables, a little bit of meat here and there, a little bit of fish twice a week. Lots of fruits and vegetables, fruits more or less as a dessert. And a lot of interaction with the community."

Not a lot of fat. There is olive oil, but in moderation and the diet is mixed in with physical and social activities. That's what's going to help you live longer and healthier.

A Mediterranean diet does make a big difference but one of the studies shows if you add just three other lifestyle factors, it's a powerful combination.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices

  1. Mediterranean Diet
  2. Moderate Physical Activity
  3. Moderate Alcohol Use
  4. Not Smoking In addition to the diet, researchers looked at moderate physical activity - that's 30 minutes a day-- alcohol in moderation, and not smoking. Those who followed all four of these lifestyle choices cut their risk of early death by nearly two-thirds And keep in mind this ten-year study tracked elderly adults,age 70 to 90, so imagine what a difference we could make if people made these changes in their 40's or 50's.

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