In my last post, I talked about Metabolic Syndrome; what are the symptoms, what factors cause it and how to treat. Let’s look at how Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of Metabolic Syndrome.
Mediterranean diet is actually the diet of Southern Italy, Crete and other parts of Greece. The key characteristics of the diet are:
- Olive oil as the main source of fat, keeping the total fat content at 25-35% of the total daily calories intake and less than 8% saturated fats.
- High consumption of legumes, unrefined cereal, fruits and vegetables
- Wine consumption in moderation.
- Dairy products (butter and cheese), red meat and processed meats are consumed in low amount.
Francesco Sofi reported in the British Medical Journal, September 2008, a meta-analysis of various publications, the associations between adherence of Mediterranean diet to mortality and incidence of diseases of 1,574,299 individuals over a period of 3-18 years.
The results showed greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with significant improvement in health. There was 9% reduction in overall mortality, 9% reduction in cardiovascular disease, 6% reduction in mortality from cancer and 13% reduction in incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease as well as significant protection against Type 2 diabetes.
Most of the diseases covered in the study are linked to Metabolic Syndrome. So, adoption of the Mediterranean diet will help towards treatment of Metabolic Syndrome.
Mediterranean diet alone cannot protect us or reduce the risk of Metabolic Syndrome. It must be combined with moderate amount of exercise and quit smoking.
Mediterranean cuisine involves a lot of grilled fish and seafood. Olive oil and garlic are widely used. Pita bread, hummus and falafel are popular items in the cuisine.
Have you tried the Mediterranean cuisine yet? Let me know how you like it.
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