Mediterranean Diet: Heart Healthy and Preventing Cancer

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-basil-nuts-olive-oil-bunch-fresh-bowl-walnuts-pepper-garlic-glass-bottle-served-white-wooden-table-see-series-image36664137If you’ve been trying to boost your heart health by eating a Mediterranean diet filled with olive oil, vegetables and nuts, and foregoing red and processed meat, a new report says you also may be lowering your risk for cancer and type 2 diabetes, all without losing weight.

A report of studies from PREDIMED, a large nutrition intervention trial, was published in the May issue of Advances in Nutrition. One study found that after almost 5 years, Mediterranean diet participants had 30% less cardiovascular disease than the control group. Another study found the Mediterranean diet groups had less type 2 diabetes, showed improvements in conditions of metabolic syndrome and had lower levels of markers for inflammation, all risk factors for cancer.

The Mediterranean diet, promoted as heart healthy, is rich in plant foods (such as vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts), olive oil, moderate amounts of fish, yogurt, cheese, poultry and red wine, but little red and processed meats and sweets. In the PREDIMED study, researchers randomly assigned about 7500 participants to one of three groups: a Mediterranean diet (MeDiet) supplemented with olive oil, a MeDiet supplemented with nuts or they were instructed to follow a low fat diet. The PREDIMED study is a randomized, nutritional intervention trial conducted in Spain from 2003 to 2011. Continue reading


Study: Stroll to Prevent Diabetes (and Possibly Cancer)

Evidence is clear that doing at least 150 minutes weekly of moderate physical activity lowers risk for type 2-diabetes. Now, one study shows that even light physical activity may provide some benefit for people at highest risk.bigstock-Mature-Couple-Walking-37462687

Type 2-diabetes increases risk for several cancers, including those of the liver, colon and endometrium. Both diseases share many risk factors, including insulin resistance.

The study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, included 68 sedentary, overweight and obese adults with pre-diabetes. They were randomly assigned to two groups. Both groups attended two educational sessions at the beginning of the 3 month study, but only one group attended a supervised walking program – 60 minutes, 3 times per week. Continue reading


Cooking for the Family… Gluten-free, Vegan and All

dreamstime_xs_32728722From vegetarian to vegan, diabetic to gluten-free, is your family’s table one of the many Thanksgiving spreads looking to please special diet restrictions?

These diet restrictions mean you have to make changes to traditional recipes and this may present a lot of “hangups” for both the rookie holiday host and the tenured chef of the family. We can lend a helping hand.

Makeover #1: Stuffing, Gluten free

This staple is usually made with bread, which contains a protein called gluten.  People with celiac disease must avoid gluten completely; others may be sensitive to gluten and experience intestinal discomfort. Here are a few suggestions for your gluten-free diners:

Makeover #2: Macaroni and cheese, healthier version

Please vegetarians or non-turkey lovers with a creamy, delicious and healthy mac and cheese dish.

  • For an easy change to a crowd favorite, swap out the regular macaroni noodles for whole-wheat or whole-grain noodles to give your mac and cheese a fiber boost
  • Also, check out AICR’s recipe for Pumpkin Mac & Cheese. Adding pumpkin keeps the familiar creaminess without overloading on cheese
  • If you’re not into pumpkin, try a macaroni and cheese made with a cauliflower cheese sauce. You’ll get your fix of cruciferous veggies, while still enjoying a holiday favorite Continue reading