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


Report: Behavior Changes Can Prevent Deaths from Cancer and Other Leading Causes

Eating healthy, exercising and being a healthy weight are among the behavior changes Americans can make to cut 20 to 40 percent of the five leading causes of US deaths, including cancer, according to a new report from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention. For cancer, not smoking or drinking alcohol also play a key role in preventing deaths.Preventable2

The report highlights how the same factors that reduce the risk of cancer also reduce the risk of other diseases. (We talk here about Eating to Prevent Heart Disease and Cancer the two leading causes of death.)

According to the report, the five leading causes of death in the United States are heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, and unintentional injuries.

The CDC report focused on premature deaths. Together, the five leading causes of death accounted for almost two-thirds of all U.S. deaths in 2010. State by state, the report looked at mortality data from 2008-2010 of those who died before age 80. They then used the state with the lowest numbers of deaths as the benchmark to calculate the numbers of deaths from each cause that could be prevented in each state. Continue reading


Analysis: That Supplement May Not Protect Against Cancer, Heart Disease

For cancer prevention, the evidence is pretty clear: vitamins, minerals and other supplements alone don’t work. Not relying on supplements is one of AICR’s recommendations for cancer prevention — a recommendation made after analyzing the global SuppsInFishShaperesearch.

Now a review of the research supports this conclusion, finding that many popular supplements do not protect against both cancer and heart disease, the two leading causes of death in America. At least among healthy individuals. And some supplements may possibly cause harm among certain groups of people. The report was published by the US Preventive Task Force, an update to their 2003 report with similar findings.

The analysis reviewed all the new evidence since the last report, collecting only “good quality” studies. At the end of it, there were 26 new studies.

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