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Inguanez The Cretan Diet
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Inguanez The Cretan Diet


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  • Part of history for 8000 years, 20 countries border or lie inside the Mediterranean Sea - diverse as the cultures & the climate. Book by Giacomo Castelvetro “A Brief Account of the Fruits, Herbs & Vegetables of Italy” Tried to convince the English to eat more fruits & veg – without success (seen as cancer preventative)
  • Keyes, a professor of physiology at the University of Minnesota, chief investigator was stationed in Salerno Italy Fist research scientist to conduct large, prospective epidemiological studies of CVD incidence & risk
  • Scientists in 1980’s analyzed blood samples from the original study – found serum chol contained highest concentration of ALA Lyon’s single blind trial to test whether a mediterranean or prudent Western diet is more protective against reoccurance of heart attack (1.32 vs 5.5 per yr Nurses Study looked at ALA intakes and fatal ischemic HD. ALA is negatively correlated; ratio is still debated Widespread popularity – Harvard Study released in Oct – depression
  • Lengthen life (drecreassed mortality 9% & morbidity (2008) Best defense against chronic disease (CVD, prevention of artherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome) 2009 Fights cancer (2006) Lowers risk of HD & with lower cholesterol & BP (2009) Protects from diabetes (2008) Aids weight loss & management (2008) Wards off alzheimers & parkinsons Improves arthritis, depression
  • Most commonly understood version was presented by Dr Walter Willett (Harvard University) in the mid 90’s. Based on the food patterns typical of Crete , much of Greece & southern Itlay on the early 1960’s. This diet emphasizes plant foods and uses olive oil as its principle source of fat. Total fat 25-35% with sat fat being 8% or less of calories
  • Ave 9 servings of antioxidant rich veg/fruit Nuts – high in healthy fat, low in sat fat (small amounts b/c of high calories) Grains typically whole grains& with very little unhealthy trans fats; eaten w/o butter Focus isn’t to reduce total fat consumption but to make wise choices about fats (mono, some poly & omega 3. Mono help to reduce LDL when used to replace sat/trans fats Extra virgin & virgin olive oils are the least processed & contain the most protective plant compounds Wine – reduces blood clotting and contains antioxidants – moderation 5oz for women & 10 for men More increases other health problems ie certain cancers
  • Transcript

    • 1. The Cretan Diet: Uncovering Its Health Secrets through the Ages Jan Inguanez, RD Woolwich Community Health Centre
    • 2.  
    • 3. Origins
      • Crete, the legendary birthplace of Zesus
      • Benefits first reported in early Renaissance England
      • Birthplace of heart healthy eating pattern (approx 40 years ago)
      • Traditional dietary patterns of countries of the Mediterranean basin
    • 4. The Area
    • 5. Seven Countries Study
      • Ancel Keys and the Seven Countries Study
      • Studied the relationship among nutrition, health and Disease
      • Rural men aged 40-59 from 1958 to 1970
      • Yugoslavia, Italy, Greece, Netherlands, Finland, Japan & USA
    • 6. Study Findings
      • Although serum cholesterol was the most reliable predictor of CVD, some surprises were noted
      • Finland – highest rate of heart attacks not predicted by mean cholesterol values
      • Crete – Lowest rate of CVD; lower than predicted by serum cholesterol values
    • 7. Study findings
      • Attributed lower incidence of HD to Cretan diet based on large amounts of monounsaturated fats (& low sat fats)
      • Unanswered question – Why this high fat diet was more protective than low fat Japanese diet?
    • 8. Subsequent Research
      • 1980’s - found rural Cretan diet contained more omega 3 fatty acids and/or ALA
      • Lyon Diet Heart Study – people following Mediterranean diet reduced coronary event & deaths by almost 70%
      • Nurse’s Health Study - less ALA
      • Gained widespead popularity in 1990’s
      • Continues to be studied…
    • 9. More studies…
      • Nurse’s Health Study - less ALA
      • Gained widespread popularity in 1990’s
      • Benefits continue to be studied…
    • 10. Why were the Cretans so healthy?
      • Diet is abundant in:
        • Antioxidants
        • ALA from wild plants
        • Selenium
        • Omega 3 fatty acids
    • 11. Foods of the Mediterranean Diet
    • 12.  
    • 13. Healthy fats such as olive oil
    • 14. High consumption of legumes
    • 15. Eating small portions of nuts
    • 16. Moderate use of lower fat dairy products
    • 17.
      • Eating fish/shellfish at least 2X wk
      • Consuming very little red meat
    • 18.
      • Red wine in moderation (for some)
    • 19. Key Components:
      • Generous amounts of vegetables & fruits
      • healthy fat such as olive oil
      • High consumption of legumes
      • Herbs & spices instead of salt
      • Small portions of nuts
      • Moderate use of dairy products very little red meat
      • Eating fish/shellfish at least 2X wk
      • Red wine in moderation (for some)