Body fat is like two twins: one evil and one good. In this case, white fat-the kind that likes to cluster around the abdomen and hang on to calories-is the bad stuff. The "good" fat is brown, and it has been found to assist the body in burning calories, thus helping keep weight down.
Recently, we published an article by Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, titled "From Old Dogmas to New Realities. "In the article, Hope voiced the opinion that a low carb diet is not the only dietary option for people with diabetes, and that, in fact, such thinking is an "old dogma." In response, we received a number of strongly worded comments advocating the low carb diet as the only way to go.
A new study says that people who consume a "moderate" amount of candy per day have a slightly lower body mass index than people who don't eat candy. They also run a 15 percent lower risk than the general population of developing metabolic syndrome, the cluster of conditions that is often a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
Italian and Greek researchers conducting a meta-analysis* of the diets of more than 500,000 people have concluded that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors that are common precursors to type 2 diabetes. Those factors include overweight or obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, high blood sugar, high triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, and high "bad" cholesterol. The Mediterranean diet is high in fruit, vegetables, whole grain foods, and low-fat dairy products. Proteins include fish, legumes, poultry, tree nuts, and mono-unsaturated fatty acids from olive oil. Alcohol intake is moderate and almost always in conjunction with meals. Red meat is only an occasional menu item. The scientists looked at 50 studies that involved more than 500,000 people, then extrapolated the effects of a Mediterranean diet from them. Although the meta-analysis pointed to the usefulness of the Mediterranean diet in fending off metabolic syndrome, its authors said that their conclusion is tentative, given the need for more research on the topic. The study was published in the March 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. * A meta-analysis looks at a number of similar studies and tries to derive new and useful results from them by detecting common patterns among them.
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