Surprising New Reason to Go Mediterranean

Mediterranean diet may reduce lung cancer risk

(LISA RAPAPORT, REUTERS HEALTH) – People who eat a lot of saturated fat – the “bad” kind of fat that’s abundant in foods like butter and beef – are more likely to develop lung cancer than individuals on low-fat diets, a recent study suggests.

Compared to adults who didn’t get a lot of fat in their diets, people who ate the most total fat and saturated fat were 14 percent more likely to get lung malignancies, the study found. For current and former smokers, the added risk of a high-fat diet was 15 percent.

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While the best way to lower the risk of lung cancer is to not smoke, “a healthy diet may also help reduce lung cancer risk,” said study co-author Danxia Yu of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

“Specifically, our findings suggest that increasing polyunsaturated fat intake while reducing saturated fat intake, especially among smokers and recent quitters, may (help prevent) not only cardiovascular disease but also lung cancer,” she said.

The American Heart Association recommends the Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet or a Mediterranean-style diet to help prevent cardiovascular disease. Both diets emphasize cooking with vegetable oils with unsaturated fats, eating nuts, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish and poultry, and limiting red meat and added sugars and salt.  READ THE FULL STORY AT REUTERS HEALTH

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