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GreekReporter.comGreeceStudy Reveals Lower Mortality Rate in Crete than Any Area in the...

Study Reveals Lower Mortality Rate in Crete than Any Area in the Mediterranean

According to the Los Angeles Times, the traditional diet in Greece is different from the traditional diet in France, is different from the traditional diet in Spain. And while all of these diets are considered Mediterranean, it stands to reason that they don’t all provide equal health benefit.
Dr. Artemis Simopoulos, president of the nonprofit Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health in Washington, D.C., thinks it’s the one followed in Greece before 1960.
Laying out her case in a 2001 paper, she pointed to the Seven Countries Study, which found that Greece — and specifically the island of Crete — had the lowest heart disease and cancer rates of all seven countries in the study, including Italy.
In fact, Simopoulos wrote, Crete had a lower mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 per year) than any other area in the entire Mediterranean region.
She also cited the 1995 Lyon Diet Heart Study, a clinical trial comparing two groups of patients who were recovering from heart attacks. One ate a traditional Crete-like diet, and one ate the diet usually prescribed for such heart patients. After a little more than two years, the death rate in the group eating the Crete-like diet was 70% lower than the rate in the other group, and further analysis found that the Crete diet group also had a lower risk of developing cancer, according to the online paper.
Although both diets in the Lyon study minimized saturated fats, the Crete-like diet had higher total fat content. But a difference that Simopoulos deems more crucial was the type of fatty acids: The Crete-like diet had a more balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats.
Simopoulos and others say that these days we get too much omega-6 fat — found in vegetable oils like corn and soy (which turn up in fast food, snack food, sweets, etc).

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