The Mediterranean diet comes up a winner again. Women adhering to 7 of the 9 components had a 57% drop in uterine cancer risk. –MrT.
Mediterranean Diet Cuts Uterine Cancer Risk
June 9, 2015
A Mediterranean diet is much more than some trendy weight loss plan. In addition to helping people shed extra pounds, it has been shown to provide some major positive effects on health in a number of ways, including protection from cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. And now, new research has discovered another important benefit for women who stick to a Mediterranean diet: it appears to help cut the risk of uterine cancer roughly in half.
The study, which took place at the IRCCS-Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche in Milan, Italy, found that greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a significantly lower likelihood of developing uterine cancer.1 The subjects were more than 5,000 women residing in Italy who were tracked for varying lengths of time between 1983 and 2006. An analysis was conducted of their regular consumption of the multiple foods upon which the Mediterranean diet is based.
The scientists broke the diet down into nine basic components: a high intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals, legumes, fish, and monounsaturated fats; moderate consumption of alcohol; and restricted amounts of dairy products and meat. Even those participants who did not stick perfectly with the Mediterranean diet were shown to reap enormous benefits. The women who adhered to seven of the nine components had a whopping 57 percent drop in their uterine cancer risk. In addition, the volunteers who remained steadfast to six of the nine components lessened their risk of uterine cancer by 46 percent, and even the ones who only stuck to five of the components saw a 34 percent reduction in their risk.
For women who followed fewer than five of the components of the Mediterranean diet, less than half of the overall plan of the diet, no decrease in the risk of uterine cancer was found. But it is truly great news that women do not have to stick with every nuance of this nutritious plan to still end up achieving some very positive effects. So if you are allergic to nuts or don’t really like fish or aren’t quite ready to give up most of your meats and dairy foods, you will still benefit quite a bit from this diet, at least from the perspective of uterine cancer risk.
Uterine cancer is the fourth most common form of cancer in women in the United States and the most frequently diagnosed gynecologic cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its risk factors include being over the age of 50; a family history of uterine, ovarian, or colon cancer; use of estrogen-only hormone replacement therapy; and obesity.
Although the research did not prove cause and effect, it certainly provides evidence of a link between eating habits based on the Mediterranean diet and a reduced chance of developing uterine cancer. The study did have weaknesses, though. While the population sample was large in size, it was relatively homogeneous based on Italian women who most likely were white and had their ethnicity based in that area of the world. Since our genetic makeup is known to influence cancer risk in some cases, it would be interesting to find a more diverse pool of subjects to determine whether the outcome is the same and if the Mediterranean diet is equally influential. The other problem with the investigation is that the women’s dietary habits were based on their memory of what they had previously eaten, which is often not terribly accurate.
These issues aside, however, this study serves as a good reminder of just how important our diets are to our health. And there is truly no downside to adopting an eating plan like the Mediterranean diet. Rather than a “diet” in the sense of the word that means restricting calories and avoiding certain foods for a period of time until weight is lost, this is instead a great approach to eating for the long term. Each element of the Mediterranean diet has been shown to be nutritious and beneficial to our health. In fact, Jon Barron has singled out a version of the Mediterranean Diet (See excerpt below) as his diet of choice. So stock up on the fruits, veggies, nuts, fish, and more that the diet is based upon, and pour yourself a nice glass of red wine if that’s your thing. You can eat deliciously well and take better care of your health all at once.
1. Preidt, Robert. “This Diet Tied to Lower Uterine Cancer Risk.” WebMD. 27 May 2015. Accessed 31 May 2015.
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This article discusses various kinds of diets. Below is excerpt. Click on link to read the entire article and various diets. –MrT.
Natural Health Newsletter: Doctors Recommend Diets
May 10, 2015
So what diet do I recommend?
After intensively studying this field for 48 years now, my diet of choice is the Mediterranean diet, but a very particular form of it. Historically speaking, the Mediterranean diet is not “actually” the diet of any country or area; instead, it is “inspired” by the traditional dietary patterns of the peoples of southern Italy, Greece, and Spain. The more generic forms of the diet, and the form followed by most of the physicians in the survey, center around high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, with moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of meat and meat products.
The version of the Mediterranean diet that I recommend modifies that as follows:
- High consumption of non-starchy vegetables and greens. Although the Mediterranean diet is not necessarily a vegetarian diet, fresh vegetables and salad greens are its single most important component. Fresh vegetables have high nutrient density. That is: they provide high levels of nutrition with the fewest number of calories. Broccoli, for example, provides more protein per calorie than a lean steak. Note: that’s per calorie, not per ounce or pound; and it’s not a complete protein. You need other amino acid rich foods to complement it so that you can maximize its protein value. But that said, fresh vegetables are among the most nutrient dense foods available. Vegetable juices are also extremely healthy. Just don’t go crazy with the high sugar vegetables such as beets and carrots.
- Moderate consumption of organic, free-range chicken or turkey (if desired). Remember: non-organic poultry is likely to contain high levels of arsenic and chicken tumors.
- Moderate consumption of nuts and seeds (if not allergic). And keep in mind that sprouting nuts and seeds, if you can find any that are not pasteurized nowadays, dramatically improves their nutrition level and health benefits, while reducing the possibility of any adverse reactions. Among the best nuts to eat are almonds and walnuts, and for seeds we’re looking at sunflower, flax, and chia seeds.
- Moderate consumption of chlorella, spirulina, and blue green algae (if not allergic). They are a great source of protein (albeit quite expensive). They are also nutrient dense and are great for removing toxins and heavy metals from the body, especially chlorella.
- Moderate consumption of fruit. Fruits are incredibly high in antioxidants, which is good. But they are also very high in sugars, which is not so good. Eating whole fruit helps modify the sugar hit. If you drink fruit juices, then you absolutely must restrict yourself to fresh squeezed and dilute them with fresh water when you drink them…to cut the sugar hit.
- Moderate consumption of oils and fats such as:
- Olive oil.
- Walnut oil.
- Avocado oil.
- Coconut oil.
- Organic butter from grass fed cows.
- With supplemental krill oil, squid oil, fish oil, and flax lignans.
- Avoid like the plague all manmade trans-fats (natural ones are fine) and all ultra-refined, high omega-6 vegetable oils (the kind that can last on your shelf for years without ever going rancid).
- Moderate consumption of organic, cage free eggs (if desired).
- Low to moderate consumption of organic, free-range meat and meat products (if desired).
- Low consumption of organic, raw dairy products, mostly as yogurt and cheese (if desired). Whey is certainly a concentrated source of supplemental protein, but it’s also extremely high in allergens. I would keep consumption moderate to low.
- Low consumption of legumes and, if you eat them, make sure you soak them before cooking and then cook them well before eating.
- Low consumption of unfermented soy products such as tofu and soy milk. Adults can consume moderate levels of fermented soy, but children should avoid all soy as the phytoestrogen content is just too much for them.
- Low consumption of unrefined, organic grain products. (Avoid the newer strains of non-organic high gliadin wheat.) And if you have celiac disease, then avoid them altogether. Do not substitute with high glycemic, non-gluten knock offs. Since this diet recommends low consumption of these foods anyway, simply eliminating them is not that big a sacrifice. If you don’t have a gluten problem, barley is not a bad choice as it is low glycemic. Even better is pre-sprouted barley, which is a nutritional powerhouse.
- Extremely low (or no) consumption of high glycemic refined grains, starches (e.g. potatoes), isolated sugars, and any modern, high-gliadin, genetically engineered strains of wheat.
It is said that we dig our graves one forkful at a time. There is much truth in that statement. Likewise, making smart dietary choices gives you much better odds of living a long, healthy life. Not a guarantee, just better odds. In the end, it’s your body, your life, your choice. Only you can determine what that choice will be, not your doctor.