Mediterranean Diet found to cut heart risks

Thought this story hitting the nightly news as important. It seems to me though they were saying you use so much Olive Oil, it might result in 2 liters of Extra Virgin Olive Oil a month. That would be a lot. Another mainstay of the diet seems to be nuts “walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds”, okay. Not too bad, I can find walnuts (a bit pricey) and the almonds okay. Some people think nuts for the record have become a bit to genetically modified, so we will see.

Not that difficult of a diet to follow.

A five-year study conducted in Spain finds that following a Mediterranean-style diet could have positive health benefits.

Pour on the olive oil, preferably over fish and vegetables: One of the longest and most scientific tests of a Mediterranean diet suggests this style of eating can cut the chance of suffering heart-related problems, especially strokes, in older people at high risk of them.

The study lasted five years and involved about 7,500 people in Spain. Those who ate Mediterranean-style with lots of olive oil or nuts had a 30 percent lower risk of major cardiovascular problems, compared with others who were told to follow a low-fat diet. Mediterranean meant lots of fruit, fish, chicken, beans, tomato sauce, salads and wine, and little baked goods and pastries.

Depending on how many people you have in your family, 2 liters of extra virgin olive oil a month is definitely doable, and not over-doing it. Extra virgin olive oil is one of the, if not the healthiest of oils but is best if consumed raw.

We’re Italian so we go through more olive oil than probably our entire block combined.

I’ve eaten a raw nut cereal every morning for the past year or so. I’ve seen no adverse effects whatsoever. One thing to do to make them more digest-able would be to soak them overnight. This not only make them softer but they also gain mass, so your money goes further. :thumbsup:

I’ve had a more weird health problems than most people will have in their lifetime. Needless to say, I’ve done my research on diet. When I decided go do all I could to better my situation, The first place I went was to the bible. There is a plethora of info on diet in there and virtually all of it coincides with the Mediterranean diet, one of the best diets in the world.

Although I find the Paleo Diet to be the best for me, I’d highly recommend the Mediterranean Diet book What Would Jesus Eat? by Dr. Don Colbert. It’s the first book I bought on diet and was very eye-opening and very commonsensical.

They have found that Mediterranean people (Spanish) do better on a Mediterranean diet? No big surprise there.

But does that apply for those who are not of Mediterranean ancestery? Mediterranean people have eaten in a certain way for millenia. Undoubtedly those who thrived on it survived and passed their genes on to succeeding generations, and those who did not, did not.

Northern Europeans (for example) have eaten in a different way for millenia. Very different foods. Those who ate it either survived it or didn’t. Those who did passed their genes on to succeeding generations.

So, can we really know that, say, a German should be eating olive oil and pasta, or is he better off eating the meat and cold-weather vegetables and grains that his ancestors ate for 10,000 years and more?

One recalls that Julius Caesar, rightly or wrongly attributed the superior stature, stength and vigor of the Teutons to their almost entirely meat and milk diet…derived from flocks and hunting as their ancestors on the Eurasian steppes had done for at least 10,000 years.

Yes, good points, the stuffed cabbages and all of that, very tastey. The Okinawans are known for having a healthy diet.

Also, for the record, in the past the Mediterranean Diet had more of a Greek and actually Crete island connection. This is all searchable on the net and though Olive Oil was a mainstay your greek yogurt has become a popular item.

Fermented foods, per fermented apple cider, Greek yogurt, kim chee, soy as tempah or miso have all been positively written about in studies. Most or all of those have the digestive enzymes, etc.

I think that regardless of the diet being followed, the biggest point of all of them and the most successful way to improve health is to reduce/eliminate the processed foods that we are eating. Many of the diseases that have seen increases in recent times can trace the start of their uptick to the uptick in consumption of processed foods. Many of these prepackaged foods are so full of chemicals and fillers that their nutritional value has become questionable. This is beyond the fact that there are many chemicals and other items being added to foods for which there has been little to no long term study of potential health impacts.

While I know that it is difficult to avoid (believe me I still eat them at times, more times than I would like due to convenience) getting away from these things is really the best place to start when looking to correct diet/nutrition. At least in my opinion.

Of course Caesar was right, which is why for nearly 2,000 years everyone with a higher education knew at least some Old German, and why the very names of the places people go to exercise and learn - the gymnasiums, academies and schools - all come from the Old German. Oops, no, that’d be Latin and Greek - the Mediterranean cultures :wink:

This is kind of fun. Hope it doesn’t turn ugly.

One has to remember that the Germans in WWII went through the Greeks like spit through a tin horn. One remembers too that of all the Italian troops in that war, the only ones that were any good were the Alpini Divisions…the Alpines. And they sure were good. In Russia they even rescued some German units and the Russians finally just opened in front of them and let them go, they wanted them to leave so badly. They were that good.

Alpine Italians don’t eat a Mediterranean diet and aren’t really Mediterraneans, being more akin to the Swiss and Austrians. Theirs is closer to the German diet than to Sicilian, Neapolitan, etc.

Soooooooo, I’m not so sure the Med diet is salubrious for everyone, even for all Italians. Actually, the Paleo diet is more like the old Teutonic diet. I’ll go along with the poster who decried the highly processed food we now eat so much of. I recently read that grass-fed beef contains all the “good” lipids and such that are considered beneficial in fish. It’s the grain feeding and “growth forcing” that can make red meat harmful, along with overeating.

So I decided to just eat grass-fed beef which I raise myself. Good stuff.

My wife does cook with olive oil. I’ll admit I like it, even though the Italian part of my ancestry is Alpine. Everybody has his weaknesses. :wink:

Well, being of Mediterranean stock myself, I’ll cheerfully admit to a little bias :wink:

Mind you, those old Greeks and Romans were eating precious little of the refined carbs such as pasta and white bread that modern Italians so love (and Greeks to a lesser extent - think filo pastry). Those aren’t strictly Med diet staples.

And the Germanic types were prolly better trained and equipped than your average Italian or Greek.

If you read the Iliad, it appears the ancient Greeks ate a lot of bread. One assumes whole grain. It’s hard to determine how much beef and pork they ate, but they did when they could. One of the most amusing things about their animal sacrifices, though, was this. One sort of gets the impression that they would burn a bullock, let’s say, as a sacrifice to the gods. But the text never really says that. When you research it you find that they would take a bit of the meat, wrap it in fat and burn it. The gods, you see, lived on the smell. The Greeks ate the animal themselves. That goes a long way in explaining why they do so many bullock sacrifices in the Iliad.

Reconsidering the Alpini Divisions and the Greeks. The Germans were, indeed, better equipped than the Greeks. But the Italians were horribly equipped. Mussolini’s armament development and production peaked well before WWII, and their stuff was in very short supply and inferior.

Nevertheless, the Alpini Divisions were unparalleled soldiers, comparable to any and superior to most. They really did rescue some far better equipped German units in Russia. In retreating from the Caucasus, they were surrounded almost every step of the way but fought their way through, time after time. Toward the end, the Russians surrounding them literally opened a gap for them so they wouldn’t have to fight them again.

I am actually at least a bit serious about “ancestral diets”. One notes that about 80% of Indo-Europeans retain lactose tolerance into adulthood, whereas almost nobody else on earth does. Why is that? Well, it’s not too strange to imagine that during the millenia when they were herders on the Eurasian steppes where there’s almost no human food otherwise, the ones with lactose tolerance survived on a diet consisting almost entirely of meat and milk, while those without it did not survive.

Now, if that “ancestral tolerance” (bought, no doubt, at the price of many deaths) was developed for milk, why not for meat? But it’s true that most available meat nowadays is “growth forced”, fed unnatural things, tainted with various things and is highly processed. Of course, the pastas and such available to us are likewise highly processed and adulterated.

One recalls that precolumbian mesoamericans’ diet did not contain much meat or animal fat. It was largely based on corn and, indeed, to this day Mexicans in Mexico have umpteen varieties of corn, each with different nutritional and taste characteristics, which figures very large in their dietary intake. One also realizes that Mexican-Americans tend to have more than average occurence of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other conditions we normally associate with a too-rich diet. Might they be eating the wrong things, not simply be eating too much? Would a return to the varied corn-based diet make them more healthy? We don’t know, but one suspects it.

So where does that put those, like northern Europeans, who have nearly always had diets rich in meat and milk, but who, because of climatic conditions had to do without fresh vegetables or fruits for month after month? Would such a diet be perfectly fine for them now, so long as it isn’t adulterated in some manner? One wonders.

I read an article on a study using the Mediterranean diet several months ago in a fitness magazine.

It sounds like the same study but what was notable IIRC was that the “low-fat” diet group was taken off that diet by the researchers because they felt it was “cruel” to continue since it offered no benefit to them. I think the article used the word “cruel” whichis why it stand out.

One source, in the article I’m referring to, said that high cholesteral is not as bad as the health industry makes it out to be and was very critical of the use of statins. I’ve been interested in this diet since then. I need to find that article.

Based on the attached data, there are diets better than the Mediterranean; the US fares surprisingly better than most European nations and the biggest surprise to me is how well France does considering the richness of typical french food. It implies there is much more than diet involved.

We used to go spend a weekend in the middle of nowhere every year at a friend’s place, and we always had an interesting assortment of people visit. One of those people that visited every year happened to be a French citizen that worked in the U.S. We discussed the diet issue in detail. He told me that they eat rich food and like to drink, but they do so in an entirely different manner than here in the U.S. Here, people gorge on food. In France, though, they will have a rich portion of food, but it will be a small portion.

When it comes to French food, the reason that they seem to do better despite the richness is portion size. They do not eat nearly as much of it. The portion sizes in this country are out of control.

I went to a French restaurant in Montreal one time, never have I paid so much money for so little food. I guess it shows you can each rich food, if you can just limit your portion size.

the best diet is less food and more exercise/manual labour.
if you stay hungry and eat maybe one small meal a day with meat once a week and walk 10 hours across the mountains and hills & valleys every day you will be fit enough and you could eat anything and it will be either all be burnt up or used to repair damaged muscle.
but who will live like that now?, its easy not to eat when you walk or climb because you don’t feel hunger but sitting at a computer its difficult because you do.

The most expensive restaurant I ever went to was a French restaurant. Approximately $320 for my wife and I. I think it was an 8 course meal, all very small portions.

I don’t doubt that people with different diets find over generations that their bodies adapt to deal better with what they most commonly eat. The real problem today is a lot of our foods are so processed, preservatived, salted and sugared that they bear little resemblance to anything any of our ancestors would have eaten.

Hmmm… the first time I’ve read about it in the news was about 20 years ago.

No, the real problem is that nobody wants to 1) cook from the raw products 2) count calories.

If you eat not more than 1500 calories per day you won’t gain weight and if you eat food which you make yourself you can eat whatever you feel like it - there is no problem neither with carbohydrates, nor with fats - as long as they fit into 1500 cal category.
1g of fat produces ~ 9 cal, 1 g of protein or carbohydrates ~ 4 cals

If you’re Italian, you must know that cheese is also a part of this diet, at least in Italy, France, and Greece, if not Spain. Several years ago, studies found that fatty cheeses are not metabolized in the same way as milk and are healthier for adults. Also, it is important to drink wine WITH meals rather than between meals. And the olive oil, while healthy, must not be overcooked or else it releases carcinogens.