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    The miracle of the Mediterranean diet and what is “Sofrito”? The miracle of the Mediterranean diet and what is “Sofrito”?

    The miracle of the Mediterranean diet and what is “Sofrito”?

The miracle of the Mediterranean diet and what is “Sofrito”?

Another study recently concluded the incredible benefits of the Mediterranean based diet. The study, recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at nearly 7500 individuals with major cardiac risk factors. These include hypertension, overweight, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and smoking. Any of these sound familiar?

The study was very well-designed and controlled, and carefully monitored each of 3 groups. Over a 5 year period the participants were placed in 1 of 3 groups. The first group was assigned a low fat diet consisting of reduction in both animal and plant fat. The next 2 groups were considered “Mediterranean diets” and included either daily extra virgin olive oil (4 TBSP/day) or regular consumption of nuts (3 or more servings/week) combined with the following: Fruits–3 servings daily, Vegetables–2 servings daily, Fish–3 servings or more/week (preferably fatty Fish), beans–3 or more servings/week, Sofrito–2 or more servings/week. A glass of wine with dinner was optional and only recommended if already a regular habit. For those who are unfamiliar with Sofrito, it is a traditional Mediterranean sauce which consists of tomato, onion, garlic, EVOO, and herbs.

The results were clear: After 5 years, the participants who followed either of the two Mediterranean diets showed a substantial reduction in the risk of suffering a cardiovascular death, a myocardial infarction or a stroke. How much reduction? Greater than 30%!

Once again, we see that the evidence is clear: For cardiovascular health, a diet high in whole plant foods, and ample portions of healthful fats beats a low-fat diet AND a typical American diet every time! (And some fatty fish each week may help too).

 

 

By |April 22nd, 2013|Preventive Medicine|Comments Off on The miracle of the Mediterranean diet and what is “Sofrito”?
  • Berries
    Power of Prevention: An ounce of prevention… Power of Prevention: An ounce of prevention…

    Power of Prevention: An ounce of prevention…

Power of Prevention: An ounce of prevention…

According to a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), chronic diseases account for 75% of health care expenditures. Ironically, most of these chronic diseases have proven modifiable risk factors. In fact, 4 health behaviors (smoking, diet, physical activity, and alcohol) are directly related to development of these chronic diseases, or avoidance of these chronic diseases. While most Americans await the latest biomedical advances to address these health behavior issues, simple lifestyle modification provides far more success. A glaring example of this is seen by the fact that a new diabetes or anti-obesity drug can make headlines if it reduces glycohemoglobin levels or body weight by 0.5%. In contrast, exercise can lower the incidence of diabetes by 50%, and appropriate diet modification can have dramatic effects on weight loss. Yes, Benjamin Franklin was right! It is still as true today as it was over 200 years ago: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. And the corollary is: Prevention is not something that we can have done for us by a  professional, nor is it something that works well by avoiding lifestyle change and using medications and supplements and medical procedures to address the symptoms. We all have the power within us to positively modify our health now and more importantly, to avoid the development of most chronic diseases in our future.

By |April 22nd, 2013|Preventive Medicine|Comments Off on Power of Prevention: An ounce of prevention…