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Mediterranean diet reduces risk of hip and bone fractures

Avocados are a significant component of the Mediterranean diet
Avocados are a significant component of the Mediterranean diet MCT

Reviewing one of the many email blasts crossing my computer screen I saw new research had been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on the Mediterranean diet and hip fracture. Wanting to read the complete article, I did a search on Mediterranean diet at the JAMA website.

The search results tell their own story: Listed were six articles describing the positive benefits of the Mediterranean diet on breast cancer, diabetes, stroke, peripheral artery disease, decreased inflammation and decreased cognitive decline. It doesn’t take a scientist to spot a trend.

The most recent JAMA article described data analysis from the Woman’s Health Initiative. This was a 15.9-year study of 90,000 post-menopausal women. Food intake and health status was collected. During the study period there were 2,121 cases of hip fractures (2 percent) and 28,718 total fractures (32 percent). Researchers found that subjects with the closest adherence to a Mediterranean diet had the lowest risk for a hip fracture. There was not a significant association with a reduced risk for total fracture.

These specific results are not overwhelmingly impressive when taken alone. But when it comes to food and nutrition, it is important to look at a body of evidence. And the Mediterranean diet has quite a body. In addition to the studies sited above, the Mediterranean diet includes foods to tantalize everyone’s taste.

The basic principles of the diet are easy: Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes and good fats like olive oil, nuts and avocado. And to complete your dietary adventure in the Mediterranean include fish and seafood twice a week, reduce portions of meat to about 3-4 ounces and cook vegetarian one night a week. It is not individual “superfoods” bringing bountiful health. A varied intake of colorful nutritious foods, like a Mediterranean food pattern, has the magic for vitality and better health.

The most amazing site for everything Mediterranean is www.oldwayspt.org . Preparing this article I discovered four recipes I will be prepping this weekend. Enjoy.

Sheah Rarback is a registered dietitian on the faculty of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. Follow her on Twitter @sheahrarback.

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