Tag Archives: Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet Protects Against Stomach Cancer

The Mediterranean Diet protects against stomach cancer according to a new study. The Catalan Institute for Oncology located in Barcelona recently published a study in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” concluding that people consuming the Mediterranean or a diet that closely resembles it tend to have a lower incidence of stomach cancer.

The study was an evaluation of the European Prospective

Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) that followed the diets of over 485,000 Europeans and included people from ten countries. They evaluated each person’s diet as to how closely it aligned with the Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, legumes, vegetables and fish. At the other end of the spectrum was the Western diet that contained high amounts of dairy and meat products.

Tracking the participants was a matter of scoring them on an eighteen point system. The more closely their diet resembled the Mediterranean diet, the higher their points on the scale. Dr. Carlos Gonzalez and colleagues then looked for a correlation between diet and stomach cancer, a deadly form of cancer that takes the life within five years of more than ¾ of the people who develop it. What they found was eye opening.

The people that had diets that matched the Mediterranean diet the closest had a 33 percent less chance of developing stomach cancer than the ones whose diet were least like it. In fact, they found that for every point that the participant moved up the scale matching the Mediterranean diet, their chances of developing stomach cancer lowered by a significant 5 percent.

This is not the first study that showed a high correlation between the Mediterranean diet and good health. Other studies showed people that consumed the Mediterranean diet or a diet similar to it had other benefits besides the reduction of stomach cancer. Often they had lower incidence of diabetes, less inflammation, lower incidence of obesity and lower risk for heart disease.

Other studies that showed a correlation between the consumption of vegetables, similar to the Mediterranean diet found that specific vegetables help prevent not just stomach cancer but also gastritis and other conditions such as ulcers. In one study published in “Cancer Prevention Research” in 2009, the researchers found that a substance in broccoli named isothiocyanate sulforaphane does just that. It increases the activity of important enzymes that help prevent oxidative damage and guards it from both cancer and disease.

Another benefit of broccoli is its indole-3-carbinols. Brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choy and cabbage also contain these powerful anti-cancer substances. These compounds found in the vegetables help reduce acidity in the body, detoxify it and prevents cancer cells from growing into tumors or kills the individual cells.

Since these vegetables and other anti-cancer foods such as garlic, onions, turmeric, ginger, pomegranates and berries have cancer-fighting properties; it makes sense that a diet high in these fruits and vegetables would aid the body in fighting the disease. Many scientists agree that this is probably why the Mediterranean Diet protects against stomach cancer.

Mediterranean Diet Beats Diabetes Drugs

Scientists found that the Mediterranean Diet beats diabetic drugs as a treatment method. It seems that while food may have been a factor in your diabetes, it may just be food to help you lick your problem. Even though they suspected that the diet might be good for diabetics, it wasn’t until the results of a long-term study in Naples, Italy that scientist had proof.

The study involved 215 pudgy adults with newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes. The study divided the individuals into two groups. The first group had to follow a low fat diet with whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Their regimen also included low fat foods, low sugar and no high fat snacks. The second group followed the Mediterranean diet. They at all the same foods but included healthy fat such as olive oil. It focused also on lean protein sources like chicken, nuts and fish. They did have restrictions on the amount of calories from carbohydrates. It had to be limited to less than 50 percent of their daily caloric intake. The Mediterranean diet included 2 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil every day. Both groups participated in an exercise regimen.

According to the study published in the “Annals of Internal Medicine” on September 1, over half the patients no longer required medication to control their blood sugar. In fact most of them lost more weight and maintained the weight loss on the Mediterranean diet. They also showed some improvement in their good cholesterol levels, the HDL, and triglyceride levels, which also reduced their risk for heart disease.

While both groups showed improvement in all areas including weight loss, those on the Mediterranean diet consistently out improved the low fat dieters. They had better markers for the reduction of risk to heart disease, slightly higher weight loss and improved blood sugar

The group conducting the study still debate over why there was such good results. The fact that there were good results on the Mediterranean diet confirmed what they suspected all along. Some of the researchers feel that the improvement might have come from lowering the carbohydrate level in the diet. Others feel that it was the effect of the olive oil that improved the body’s insulin sensitivity. Either way, they’re delighted with the results.

Another article in the German Diabetes Association Journal reviewed several studies regarding the link between blood glucose levels and people that consumed diets high in monounsaturated fats like olive oil. All these studies pointed to the fact that those on a high monounsaturated fat diet had lower blood glucose levels.

Some studies show that the increase in saturated fat also increases the risk of diabetes. So it’s better to replace that stick of melted butter you love on thick Italian bread with warm olive oil seasoned with garlic. The garlic is a powerful antioxidant and the olive oil helps your HDL, triglycerides and diabetes. Best of all, it tastes good too.

So if you want to control your diabetes and help your heart, switch to a, substitute the fat in your diet with olive oil. Since the Mediterranean diet beats diabetes drugs, you might find eating at Luigi’s Italian Eatery for all your meals could actually improve your health.