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  #1   ^
Old Thu, Aug-03-17, 05:20
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teaser teaser is offline
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Default Mediterranean diet--food quality matters.

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Health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are confirmed, but just for the upper class

The Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease but only if you are rich or highly educated. This is the surprising finding by researchers who performed a study on over 18,000 subjects.



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The Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease but only if you are rich or highly educated. This is the surprising finding by researchers from the Italian I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, who performed a study on over 18,000 subjects recruited within the Moli-sani study and published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Cardiovascular advantages associated with the Mediterranean diet are well-known but now the Italian study, conducted by a team of researchers at the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention led by Giovanni de Gaetano, reveals that such benefits are strongly influenced by the socioeconomic position of people. Basically, given a comparable adherence to this eating pattern, the study has shown that the reduction in cardiovascular risk is observed only in people with higher educational level and/or greater household income. No actual benefits were observed for the less advantaged groups.

"The cardiovascular benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet in a general population are well known -- says Marialaura Bonaccio, researcher at the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention and first author of the study -- Yet for the first time our study has revealed that the socioeconomic position is able to modulate the health advantages linked to Mediterranean diet. In other words, a person from low socioeconomic status who struggles to follow a Mediterranean model, is unlikely to get the same advantages of a person with higher income, despite the fact that they both similarly adhere to the same healthy diet."

Neuromed researchers went further and tried to unravel the possible mechanisms underlying such disparities.

"Given a comparable adherence to the Mediterranean diet, the most advantaged groups were more likely to report a larger number of indices of high quality diet as opposed to people with low socioeconomic status -- explains Licia Iacoviello, head of the Laboratory of nutritional and molecular Epidemiology at the Department -- For example, within those reporting an optimal adherence to the Mediterranean diet (as measured by a score comprising fruits and nuts, vegetables, legumes, cereals, fish, fats, meat, dairy products and alcohol intake) people with high income or higher educational level consumed products richer in antioxidants and polyphenols, and had a greater diversity in fruit and vegetables choice. We have also found a socioeconomic gradient in the consumption of whole-grain products and in the preferred cooking methods. These substantial differences in consuming products belonging to Mediterranean diet lead us to think that quality of foods may be as important for health as quantity and frequency of intake."

"Our results should promote a serious consideration of socioeconomic scenario of health -- comments Giovanni de Gaetano, director of the Department -- Socioeconomic disparities in health are growing also in access to healthy diets. During the very last years, we documented a rapid shifting from the Mediterranean diet in the whole population, but it might also be that the weakest citizens tend to buy 'Mediterranean' food with lower nutritional value. We cannot be keeping on say that the Mediterranean diet is good for health -- de Gaetano concludes -- if we are not able to guarantee an equal access to it."

The Moli-sani Project

Started in March 2005, it involves about 25,000 citizens living in the Molise region. The aim is to learn about environmental and genetic factors underlying cardiovascular disease, cancer and degenerative pathologies. Moli-sani study, now based in I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, has transformed an entire Italian region in a large research lab.




This is one of the least surprising surprising findings I've ever seen. The Mediterranean diet is treated like it's the most powerful dietary intervention known to man, like there's the strongest evidence for it, when it's pretty much all epidemiology. It's commonly put forth as the gold standard, when the diet itself isn't even that well defined. Metabolic chamber studies are far and between for a reason--it's expensive to control conditions to the point where causation can be established. It can only be done for smaller numbers of people. Transformed an entire Italian region into a large research lab? Okay, but one with extremely low resolution. Yes there are 25000 people involved. The study won't reveal very much about any one of them.

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During the very last years, we documented a rapid shifting from the Mediterranean diet in the whole population, but it might also be that the weakest citizens tend to buy 'Mediterranean' food with lower nutritional value. We cannot be keeping on say that the Mediterranean diet is good for health -- de Gaetano concludes -- if we are not able to guarantee an equal access to it."


These are decent statements. But I have to wonder--if the Mediterranean diet shows as protective in the general population, but not in the poor, only in the more advantaged--in the general population, does Mediterranean diet score correlate with wealth? If a lot of the "best" foods, colourful veggies, nuts, are expensive additions to the diet that some people can't afford, that alone is likely to push down their Mediterranean diet score. And there are other possible explanations for why a poorer demographic might fare worse health-wise.


https://www.sciencedaily.com/releas...70801171047.htm

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  #2   ^
Old Thu, Aug-03-17, 06:35
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cotonpal cotonpal is online now
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My guess - Poverty is a risk factor for lots of things.

Jean
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  #3   ^
Old Thu, Aug-03-17, 08:20
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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I'm fascinated with the term "Mediterranean Diet." It's taken on a life of its own; yet, it really is associated with food types from regions that can vary greatly in terms of healthfulness and variety. It makes sense that at varying levels of socioeconomic standing, you would expect to see differences for the reasons stated and then add regional influences as another variable, it makes the whole concept very muddled.

I had this realization when watching the movie, "The Big Fat Fix," as these guys, O'Neill and Malhotra, were having a great time traveling in Italy and other environs sampling the finest cuisine and wine representing the economic category of those who can afford to procure this type of food. While the documentary provided an important message, the many restaurant scenes and fitness pursuits with HIIT routines and massages was confusing and represents a life of luxury that seems to be achievable by some, but not by all. While I enjoyed the messages from the two "Cereal Killers" documentaries previously released by O'Neill, I found the current film sends mixed messages about one's ability to adopt and adapt to this way of eating depending on awareness and financial standing. Is the Mediterranean diet an exclusive diet???
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Old Thu, Aug-03-17, 10:08
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cotonpal cotonpal is online now
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Originally Posted by GRB5111

I had this realization when watching the movie, "The Big Fat Fix," as these guys, O'Neill and Malhotra, were having a great time traveling in Italy and other environs sampling the finest cuisine and wine representing the economic category of those who can afford to procure this type of food. While the documentary provided an important message, the many restaurant scenes and fitness pursuits with HIIT routines and massages was confusing and represents a life of luxury that seems to be achievable by some, but not by all.


That was my response to the movie too. This was a way of eating exclusively for the wealthy, not something most people could adopt. One thing I appreciate about Noakes Real Food Revolution is that it pays attention to the poverty that many in South Africa experience and tries to adapt his food recommendations so that all income levels can adopt it.

Jean
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  #5   ^
Old Thu, Aug-03-17, 10:09
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
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Originally Posted by GRB5111
n...I found the current film sends mixed messages about one's ability to adopt and adapt to this way of eating depending on awareness and financial standing. Is the Mediterranean diet an exclusive diet???


That's what I felt about recipes for diabetics that I found after being diagnosed but before I found low carb. Way too many recipes called for things like fresh, wild-caught salmon, organic vegetables, and exotic ingredients. I couldn't afford to eat that way - still can't. But low carb - at least my version of it - is very affordable.
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  #6   ^
Old Thu, Aug-03-17, 13:08
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mike_d mike_d is offline
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Will the real "Mediterranean Dieter" please stand up?

Crickets ...
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  #7   ^
Old Thu, Aug-03-17, 15:56
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Kristine Kristine is offline
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My fondest wake-up call about the so-called Mediterranean diet came from the Drs Eades almost a decade ago now on their blog:
Low-carb eating in Italy
A Tuscan Feast
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I once shared a podium at a conference on diet held in Chicago about 15 years ago with Coleman Andrews, the erstwhile editor of Saveur magazine, now at Gourmet, I think. During his presentation on the composition of the real Mediterranean diet, he pointed out that the primary fat used in the Mediterranean was lard. Olive oil, he said, was too valuable as an export crop. After our Tuscan dinner, I have to say that I agree with him. Remember this the next time someone tells you to eat a Mediterranean diet for good health. And by all means, do eat a real Mediterranean diet, not what passes for a Mediterranean diet in the minds of most nutritionists. Remember the wise words of Emeril Lagasse: Pork fat rules!

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Based on my travels in Italy and Sicily I tend to agree. There is more and more olive oil used in Italy now because tourists expect it. But behind the scenes most cooks at most restaurants, I would be willing to bet, use lard. MD and I were staying at an Agriturismo (sort of a combination restaurant hotel) in the Campania area of Italy a few years ago that let us go back to the bowels of the kitchen. Despite the fact that the owner of the Agriturismo owned an olive orchard (which he took us to) he and his staff did all their cooking with lard. He sold olive oil by the bottle in his restaurant and provided it on all the tables, but thatís as far as it went. The first evening there we went down to the restaurant after checking in and were assailed by a fabulous aroma. Upon investigation, we found about a half dozen capons turning on spits over a wood coal fire. Occasionally the cook would ladle something over the birds as they turned that made them kind of spark and flame for just a second. We figured it was some kind of special basting sauce to add flavor. When we asked about it, we found out it was melted lard. We had one of these capons for dinner that same evening, and I can tell you they were delicious.


...and yet I think the researchers are also correct in commenting on affluence. Would comparatively-broke student tourists backpacking through a Mediterranean country have access to the same high quality food at restaurants on their budget?

I'm attending an event at a high-end Italian restaurant soon, and I looked at their menu ahead of time. Let me tell you, it's way more LC friendly and healthy than any Americanized chain here like Olive Garden/East Side Mario's/Boston Pizza, etc. I bet there are a ton of people who swear they're complying with that so-called Mediterranean diet when they order half a pizza with the side salad loaded with crappy dressing and croutons, plus that unlimited garlic bread.
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  #8   ^
Old Thu, Aug-03-17, 19:21
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deirdra deirdra is online now
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Wasn't the original study regaling the "Mediterranean diet" run during Lent, when many had temporarily given up the meat that made them so healthy?
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  #9   ^
Old Thu, Aug-03-17, 20:06
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deirdra
Wasn't the original study regaling the "Mediterranean diet" run during Lent, when many had temporarily given up the meat that made them so healthy?


I think that's called leading the witness. But yeah, I think that's one of the things Nina Teicholz wrote about.
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Old Mon, Aug-07-17, 23:11
M Levac M Levac is offline
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Ironic that this diet is an idea from the same guy responsible for the mess this diet attempts to fix. In comes Ancel Keys. It's more ironic that the diet is a result of his observations during his time of gathering data for his famous 7 Countries study (or was it 6 or 21?). It's yet more ironic that the study here says the rich benefit, yet (if I'm not mistaken), Ancel was poor so he ate poor, therefore the diet is a result of observing the poor, not the rich.

Anyways, I prefer the A-TO-Z experiment.
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  #11   ^
Old Thu, Aug-10-17, 11:47
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SuzyQ0902 SuzyQ0902 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deirdra
Wasn't the original study regaling the "Mediterranean diet" run during Lent, when many had temporarily given up the meat that made them so healthy?

I was going to bring that up. If the original study included Greece, and was done during the Lenten season (the Great Fast) all the Orthodox Christians would have been eating a basically vegan diet.
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