Yesterday Lluis Serra Majem, during his lectura as part of the Adeje Summer University, confirmed what many of us suspected; the Mediterranean diet really is better for you.
Remember the saying, “at the table no-one grows old”, well at least if they stick to a good diet, with olive oil and dried fruits rather than over indulging in carbohydrates they won’t have a heart attack says Serra Majem, who is the director of the department of Preventative Medicine and Public Health in the University of Las Palmas.
His conclusions are based on the recently published results of the Predimed study, a nutritional study that examined the eating habits of 7,500 individuals over three years including a group from the Canarias. The results show clearly that those who use virigin olive oil and dried fruits as a regular part of their diet are reducing their mortality rate by up to 30%. He said that too often people place too much emphasis on fats as the problem in the increase in the levels of obesiety but the real culprits are carbs, particularly sugar. In this way the traditional Mediterranean diet is always a better option, and studies have also indicated that this diet can aid in the prevention and treatment of depression.
Referring back to the growing (excuse the pun) problem of obesiety, particularly among children here in the Canaries, the speaker said that too many people in the Canaries still fail to consider obesity an illness or a problem. He said that for many who lived 50 years ago when the population suffered from nutriticional deficiencies today grandparents and parents are happy to feed their children up, thinking they are building up their defences, but in reality they are creating a whole new spread of health problems.
By sticking to the Mediterranean diet, and that applies here in the Canaries too with regional and cultural additions such as gofio, and what’s to hand such as fish, local wines, etc, the population could be healthier. But the fast-food invasion has taken its toll, food that is prepared and consumed too quickly and “too often spurred on by tourism. Spain is a tourist country, and the arrival of so many tourists in a relatively short space of time has produced a change in our eating habits because we appeared unable to offer traditional dishes to toursts…”
There is, apparently, a proposal to make 2014 International Year of the Mediterranean Diet, aqnd the move already has the backing of the Spanish government, and would see a series of financial incentives offered to promote the Mediterranean Diet. “In times of crisis it is important to back intitiatives that will have an important impact. More than ever people need to be able to use their food budgets in the best possible way”; he said.