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November, 2005 - Nr. 11


The Editor
November One
Pumpkin Surprise
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Herwig Wandschneider
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Hamilton Philharmonic Presents
Two Middle Eastern Films
TSO & Olivier Latry
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Opera Hamilton
Festival of Carols
A Baroque Christmas
Health Newsletter

More On Diet And Health

by Dr. Paul Jaconello
Doctor Jaconello is the Medical Director of the Jaconello Health Centre for Nutritional and Preventive Medicine

Lifestyle and dietary intervention is effective in reducing risk to cardiovascular disease and adult onset diabetes.

It is the adverse interaction of genetic predisposition and environmental factors that leads to health related problems in our population.

The way we think, the way we eat and the way we conduct our activity levels have a direct influence on our genes and in the pattern of their expression, buy we can actually influence our health and can control our quality of life.

When we consume more foods rich in unrefined complex carbohydrates, monounsaturated fats and more "good" omega 3 fatty acids and less saturated and processed fats, we reduce our risk to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer according to Dr. James Anderson in an editorial in The Journal of the American Medical Association published in 2003 entitled "Diet First then medication for hypercholesterolaemia", he states: "Dietary management is an essential part of the treatment for lipid disorders, although adherence to strict and intensive dietary interventions requires motivation by patients, encouragement by physicians and perhaps counselling by dieticians and nutrition experts."

In fact in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2003, with the heading, "Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and survival in a Greek Population", it was found that in a population based investigation involving 22,043 adults in Greece who completed a detailed food frequency questionnaire that adherence to a traditional Mediterranean diet was associated with reduced risk to cardiovascular disease and diabetes and a lower death rate from coronary disease and cancer. The authors stated: "Greater adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet is associated with a significant reduction in total mortality."

What does the Mediterranean diet consist of? It includes intake of abundant plant food (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds), olive oil as the principal source of fat, low to moderate amounts of fish and poultry, less red meat and a moderate consumption of wine, primarily with meals.

The diet is low in saturated fats and transfats and high in monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenolic compounds from olive oil.

The diet has minimally processed foods that are rich in plant based proteins, improved omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids and has a low glycaemic index which reduces risk to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Also in a paper entitled, "Effects of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol lowering foods vs lovastatin on serum lipids and C-reactive protein" published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 2003 it was found that a diet based on low total fat, increased soy and plant sterol intake and low refined carbohydrate was as effective as lovastatin (a cholesterol lowering drug) in improving both inflammatory markers and increased serum lipids. C-reactive protein is a marker of inflammation in the blood that is a predictor of future cardiac events in individuals.

The diet used was on that was high in plant sterols, soy protein, viscous fibers and almonds (dietary portfolio). Plant sterols are cholesterol like molecules found in plant foods and have been shown to be effective in lowering cholesterol levels.

Plant sterols also have an impact on reducing the immunological response to stress, reducing the prostatic size in men with benign prostatic hypertrophy and may have protective effects against certain forms of cancer.

As a final remark, it appears that the regular inclusion of soy protein is of importance in those individuals with increased risk to cardiovascular disease and even in normal healthy subjects at moderate levels of intake.

Paul Jaconello, M.D.

Doctor Jaconello is the Medical Director of the Jaconello Health Centre for Nutritional and Preventive Medicine


The Jaconello Health Centre and other health letters


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