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publicado em 09/03/2011 às 03h00:00
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Mediterranean diet protects against individual factors of metabolic syndrome

Food characterized by high consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids improves cholesterol levels and reduces heart disease

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Mediterranean diet not only promotes beneficial effects on metabolic syndrome, but also on its individual components, including HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and glucose metabolism, according to a new study by the American College of Cardiology.

The survey included results of 50 studies on the Mediterranean diet, with a total population of around half a million people.

"The prevalence of metabolic syndrome is increasing rapidly worldwide, in parallel with the increased incidence of diabetes and obesity is now considered an important public health problem," said the study's principal investigator, Demosthenes Panagiotakos. "Furthermore, the metabolic syndrome is a major cause of cardiovascular disease (directly or indirectly), charges associated with personal and socio-economic factors. As a result, prevention of disease is of considerable importance."

Beneficial effect

The Mediterranean diet is a dietary pattern characterized by high consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids, primarily from olives and olive oil daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy products with low fat, weekly consumption of fish, poultry, fruits nuts and legumes; relatively low intake of red meat and moderate daily consumption of alcohol, usually with meals.

The Mediterranean diet, according to Panagiotakos, is a well-known standards and well-studied diet, which was shown to be associated with reduced mortality from all causes, lower risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers .

In addition, the researchers say it has a beneficial effect on abdominal obesity, lipid levels, glucose metabolism and blood pressure levels, which are also risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of the Mediterranean diet as a whole as well as the effects of individual components of the diet also confers beneficial role in this pattern.

"To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first study that systematically assessed, through a large meta-analysis, the role of Mediterranean diet on the metabolic syndrome and its components," Panagiotakos said. "Our findings add to the existing knowledge and further demonstrate its protective role and importance of the factors of lifestyle and food habits when it comes to development and progression of metabolic syndrome."

Panagiotakos suggested that encouraging adherence to a healthy dietary pattern, as the Mediterranean diet, as well as adopting an active lifestyle seems to be a milestone in the development of public health strategies for the prevention of metabolic syndrome.

Given the limited financial resources that many countries face in the 21st century, better eating seems to be an efficient and accessible for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Besides their different health benefits, this dietary pattern can easily be adopted by all peoples and cultures. To access the full study in the Journal of The American College of Cardiology, click here ( ~ / media / A8A9515953EE4AB68E33C5DF8662A9A6.ashx).


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