Fascinating study about the Mediterranean diet:

Mediterranean Diet Shown to Ward Off Heart Attack and Stroke
When Diet Meets Delicious
A Healthy Diet That Includes, Yes, Chocolate

Category: Food and Drink, Video

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4 Responses to “Mediterranean Diet: The Benefits of Olive Oil”

  1. SomewhatRandom says:

    This is a very good study.

    What bothers me is that the comparison “low fat” diet, isn’t particularly low fat, and the instructions and monitoring of that control group seems to have been done with a very light hand.

    There are LOTS of studies out there which show that heart attack and stroke shows a inverse dosage-response curve: for people at risk for heart disease, the lower-fat the diet, the lower the risk and the better the outcome. Within that, while there is SOME data that shows some fats are more or less dangerous than others, that’s trumped by the mantra of “lower is better”.

    So, if you are at risk, it seems to me that your best bet is to lower your fat content as far as possible – and within that try to stick to safer fats. But I fear that many people are going to see the headlines, and shift the fat content of their diet without shifting the fat-intensity of that diet. And not get the help they are looking for.

    I learned about this stuff too soon: I came down with advanced heart disease at age 29. I had a bypass at 34. I hit the books, found the most efficacious programs that I could, and have sharply reduced my risk and my troubles since that time. I’m 51 now, and fairly healthy. But I keep an eye on the topic. I don’t think many people would adopt the extreme diet that I have (Ornish, with mild modifications) without first undergoing the adverse events that I did. But the story is still true: if you are at risk for heart disease, the lower the fat, the lower the stress, the more regular the exercise – the better the outcome.

  2. victor says:

    A bit of mythology:

    Athena and her uncle Poseidon were both very fond of a certain city in Greece. Both of them claimed the city and it was decided that the one that could give the finest gift should have it. Leading a procession of citizens, the two gods mounted the Acropolis. Poseidon struck the side of the cliff with his trident and a spring welled up. The people marveled, but the water was as salty as Poseidon’s sea and it was not very useful. Athena’s gift was an olive tree, which was better because it gave the people food, oil and wood. Athena named her city Athens.

  3. rd says:

    Joe Queenan asks a fundamental questions about the Mediterranean Diet: If it is so good for you, why does not a single Mediterranean country have a functioning economy?


  4. Jim says:

    Healthcare expenses are one of the largest expenses of my clients. I therefor try to keep up on the latest preventive care news I can and pass on the information to them. I can’t force them to eat right or exercise but they can at least be informed of their options. I also try to cut through the PR spin and get to the actual data and study conclusions. It also helps to follow the money.

    A critique from Dean Ornish who has his own diet plan:
    The best that can be said of this most recent study is “We found a significant reduction in stroke in those consuming a Mediterranean diet high in omega‑3 fatty acids when compared to those who were not making significant changes in their diet.”

    The authors also wrote “Only the comparison of stroke risk reached statistical significance.” They only found a reduction in cardiovascular causes when these were pooled with deaths from stroke, because the reduction in strokes was sufficiently high that it “carried along” the average of the other conditions.”

    Dr. Jeff Novick (dietician & author, etc)
    details the funding of the study

    The best I have found for at least identifying the areas of the world that seem to have long healthy lives is The Blue Zones. http://www.bluezones.com/
    Everything I have read points to the following things for having a healthy body and brain: Eat lots of vegetables, eat few animals and avoid processed foods and sugar. Their environments are designed to make sure that physical activity is fully integrated into their lives.