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Sticking to Mediterranean diet cut risk of death from both heart disease and cancer. For every two points higher on this 0-to-9 scale -- with top numbers going to those most closely following Mediterranean diet -- death rate dropped by 25%.
The findings by Trichopoulos may also help explain why Asians, who typically use these other cooking oils, also have lower disease and death rates. Although they rarely use olive oil, they traditionally follow other principles of Mediterranean diet -- lots of produce, legumes, nuts, and minimally processed grains, with little saturated fat.
"The message remains same, and is consistent with other findings: A diet lower in saturated fats and higher in monounsaturated fats, and potentially, polyunsaturates, will result in better health outcomes," says Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, of Tufts University and a spokeswoman for American Heart Association.
"If main message that Americans get is to just increase their olive or canola oil consumption, that's unfortunate because they will increase their caloric intake and they are already getting too many calories. What they need to do is eat more fruits, vegetables, and legumes and fewer foods rich in saturated fats."
Some of this information has been referenced from The New England Journal of Medicine, June 26, 2003. Dimitrios Trichopoulos, MD, PhD, professor of epidemiology, Vincent L. Gregory Professor of Cancer Prevention, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston. Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, senior scientist and director, Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Researcher Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston; spokeswoman, American Heart Association.
So in a nutshell, there is sound evidence that Mediterranean Diet can help reduce heart disease, cancer, weight gain and of course reduce risk of early death. However, it would be a mistake to think this outcome is based on use of Olive Oil alone. The diet is diverse and allows for taste and creativity which is often lacking in most other diets. This alone warrants further investigation from those who seek a healthy, easy diet that has flavour and is fullfilling. Remember too that just as in all worthwhile diets, moderate level exercise should not be overlooked.
Publisher & author: Roy Barker. Roy has an indepth and long established background with the vitamins, minerals and health industry and has researched and experimented with many diets over a thirty year period. Roy is also the author of Safe and Easy Weightloss, a downloadable e-book based on the popular Mediterranean Diet. It can be viewed at http://www.safe-and-easy-weightloss.com.