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Myth of Mediterranean diet / Mito de la dieta mediterránea
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Terechu
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Joined: 24 Jun 2003
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Location: GIJON - ASTURIAS

PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2004 5:06 am    Post subject: Myth of Mediterranean diet / Mito de la dieta mediterránea Reply with quote

For the last 20 years we have been told that the Mediterranean diet, based on carbohydrates, fish, vegetables and olive oil is the best for coronary health.
Well, according to all studies published this year, the highest rate of coronay disease and deaths by heart attack is precisely in the mediterranean regions: Murcia, Valencia, Baleares, Andalucia and exceptionally Galicia.
There's an invisible horizontal line across Spain, north of which the coronary disease rate is much lower.
Shouldn't we start proclaiming the health benefits of the "Cantabrian Diet"?
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Los últimos 20 años nos han estado contando que la dieta mediterránea, basada en hidratos de carbono, pescado, verduras y aceite de oliva es la mejor contra la enfermedades coronarias.
Pues bueno, según todos los estudios que se están publicando este año, el índice de enfermedad coronaria y muertes por infarto es más alto precisamente en las regiones mediterráneas: Murcia, Valencia, Baleares, Andalucía y excepcionalmente Galicia.
Hay una especie de linea horizontal invisible que atraviesa España, al norte de la cual los índices de enfermedad coronaria son mucho más bajos.
¿No deberíamos empezar a proclamar las bondades de la "Dieta Cantábrica"? Wink

Terechu
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Art
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4475
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, this is big news. I've been increasing my intake of olive oil, fruites, vegetables, and fish for years. Of course, it's not like this is a sacrifice.

Do you know what differences there are in diet above and below the line? How does Asturias rate in terms of heart disease? If Asturians do significantly better, how is the Galician diet different from the Asturian?

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Terechu.

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Vaya, son noticias grandes. He estado aumentando mi consumo de aceite de oliva, frutas, verduras, y pescado hace muchos años. Desde luego, no es un sacrificio.

¿Se sabe qué diferencias hay entre la dieta encima y debajo de la línea? ¿Cómo hace la dieta Asturias en relación con enfermedades coronaria? ¿Si los asturianos son considerablemente más sano, cómo es la dieta gallego diferente de la asturiana?

Gracias para traerlo a nuestra atención, Terechu.
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Terechu
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I don't know how to interpret it myself. Is the Mediterranean diet a humbug, or is it that Mediterraneans don't really eat their traditional diet?
The fact remains that the northern regions of Spain, where due to the rougher climate more legumes and stews are eaten (chick peas, lentils, beans, potatoes and cabbage), but also a lot of red meat, blood sausage, etc. have a lower rate of heart disease.

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En realidad no sé ni yo misma cómo interpretarlo. ¿Es la dieta mediterránea una tontería, o es que los mediterráneos no comen su dieta tradicional?
Es hecho es que las regiones del norte de España, donde debido al clima más duro se comen más legumbres y potajes (garbanzos, lentejas, fabes, patatas y verdura), pero también carne roja, morcillas, etc. tienen una incidencia más baja de enfermedades coronarias.

Terechu
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Bob
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Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terechu, can you suggest a source for information on the people in northern Spain having a lower incidence of heart disease than their more southerly neighbors? I would like to track it down in the literature and determine whether or not I agree with the research findings, and try to interpret it in light of what is known about the genetic history of the region.

Bob Martinez
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Terechu
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Location: GIJON - ASTURIAS

PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob, I can't say where exactly I read it, I suppose in La Nueva España or El Comercio, but it was published in February and March in several newspapers and it was also on national TV's evening news. It just showed a map of cardiovascular disease and death rates in Spain, and it was either by the WHO or the Spanish Heart Association or something like that - the part about the Mediterranean Diet was my own interpretation, because it struck me that it was the Mediterranean area that had the worst rates. Of course it could be either due to genetic factors or maybe that nobody there really eats Med Diet anymore. The study did not specify factors.

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Bob, no sé exactamente dónde lo leí, pero supongo que en La Nueva España o El Comercio, se publicó en febrero y marzo en varios periódicos y también salió en el telediario de la noche. Sólo mostraba un mapa del índice de enfermedades cardiovasculares y muertes por infarto en España, y debía de ser de la OMS o de la Asociación Española de Cardiología o algo así - la parte sobre la dieta mediterránea fue interpretación mía, porque me chocó que precisamente el área mediterránea fuera la que tuviera peores índices. Claro que podría ser por factores genéticos o porque allí ya nadie come dieta mediterránea. El estudio no especificaba los factores.

Terechu
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El Tampeno



Joined: 02 Dec 2003
Posts: 56
Location: Tampa

PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 12:28 am    Post subject: Med Diet Myth Reply with quote

I found your comments interesting, Terechu. Perhaps it is, above all, genetics, as so much research now indicates. Bob, can you enlighten any of us on that? Any more info since the last series of discussions?

Perhaps it's merely the inclusion and/or exclusion of relativley few dietary or life-style factors. It's probably a combination of all of the above.

Anecdotally, I can tell you that many of the Asturiano immigrants in Tampa lived well beyond the average for Americans....my abuela,
Isabel Carreno Fernandez lived to be 103 yrs of age...in good health until
the last 2 months. I never saw her eat a green vegetable in her life. She did eat alot of fabes, garbanzos and sardines on a regular basis. Also, she ate an egg every day to ward off dementia (according to her, this was common knowledge in her village of Villanueva de Pereda, near Grado).
Growing up on a small dairy farm, she climbed up and down very steep hills every day of her life until she left Asturias and came to Tampa at the age of 22. She did eat a tortilla de patatas every day, as well.Perhaps it was the bottles of Anis del Mono and Vina 25 that she kept under the kitchen sink......................she never caught cold---if she felt one coming on she would mix a raw egg with a shot of Vina 25 and drink it (this was given to us as children as well).

I do miss those old-timers...they possessed a knowledge and spirit that was extracted from the soil and passed on thru the generations. I'm afraid we've all lost so much of that.
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Tony Carreno/Tampa Florida
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Berodia



Joined: 14 Mar 2004
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Location: Cabrales

PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

No se puede hacer mucho casos de lo que dicen medicos y otros ... Wink

En Francia, comen abundatemente, carnes, patés, etc... Cocinan con abundante mantequilla, y no por ello hay mas enfermedades coronarias. Decian que quizas era la ingesta de vino lo que les protegía de esas enfermedades. Lo mejor, comer de todo un poco.

Un saludo
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Terechu
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Location: GIJON - ASTURIAS

PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony, I think genetics has a great deal to do with it. My family on my father's side have been dying young from coronary diseases for generations, while on my mother's side most live beyond 90 years. Both families are 100% Asturian and have had more or less the same diet. In fact my father's family should be the healthier one, since they are from the coast (Ribadesella, Llanes) and have always eaten more fish.

By the way, those crazy old home remedies, like giving us raw egg with sugar and sherry (ponche) when we were convalescent from whatever childhood illness, really work. A friend of my daughter, who's the only tall girl in her family, claims it was her grandmother's "ponches" throughout her childhood that made her grow a couple of inches after each strep throat or other childhood maladies. Her brother and two sisters are short, even for Asturian standards Laughing

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Tony, creo que la genética tiene mucho que ver. En mi familia paterna se han estado muriendo jóvenes de enfermedades coronarias durante generaciones, mientras que en la de mi madre la mayoría muero con más de 90 años. Las dos familias son 100% asturianas y han tenido más o menos la misma dieta. Es más, la familia de mi padre tendrían que ser los más sanos porque son de la costa (Ribadesella, Llanes) y siempre han comido más pescado.

Por cierto, esos locos remedios caseros, como darnos un huevo crudo con azúcar y jerez (ponche) cuando estábamos convaleciendo de algún virus funcionan de verdad. Una amiga de mi hija, que es la única alta de su familia, asegura que fueron los ponches de su abuela los que hacían que creciera unos centímetros después de cada infección de anginas o similar. Sus hermanos son bajos incluso para ser asturianos. Laughing
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Berodia



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A mi también me dieron de guaje ese ponche, pero te asegura que no me ayudo a crecer. Pequeño era, y pequeño quedé. Laughing
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Bob
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terechi y Tony,

Genetics is actually much more complicated that most people think and environment usually plays a large role. To start with, we each get only half of our genes from each parent. Even what we inherit from one parent only (the Y chromosome for sons and the mitochondrial DNA for each child a woman has) operates in the context of other genes and environment. Defining environmental differences is difficult and very tricky. A large scale study, not a one family anecdotal approach, would seem to be in order.

All other things being equal, I'll take the ponche. At least it will help us feel better whether or not it has any direct medical benefit (and, ultimately, feeling better in an of itself probably does have some medical benefit).

Abrazos,

Bob Martinez
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Terechu
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob, I know we are being overly simple, but it's such fun! Laughing Tony reminded me of those ponches and triggered a string of childhood memories.
By the way, according to statistics Asturian women have the world's second highest life expentancy rate, second only to Japanese women. I believe it was 84,6 years (average for Spain is 79).
Again, maybe it has to do with the Civil War, as folks approaching that age were children or teenagers then and if they survived the hunger and diseases, they must be the pick of the litter. My mom always says it was the corn bread, chestnuts and apples they were brought up on...
Anyway, if we were Basques I'm sure the whole world would know about it and we'd have scientists here checking our DNA and kissing our b...s! But it's just little old us in this forsaken Asturias!
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Bob, ya sé que estamos siendo demasiado simples, pero es tan divertido! Laughing Tony me hizo recordar aquellos ponches y de paso despertó un rosario de recuerdos de infancia.
Por cierto, según las estadísticas, las mujeres asturianas tienen el índice de esperanza de vida más alto del mundo después de las japonesas. Creo que eran 84,6 años (promedio de España es 79).
Especulando una vez más, a lo mejor tiene algo que ver con la Guerra Civil, ya que los que rondan esa edad eran niños o adolescentes entonces y si sobrevivieron el hambre y las enfermedades es que eran los mejores cachorros de la camada. Según mi madre, es que los criaron con boroña, castañas y manzanas.
Si fuéramos vascos ya se habría enterado el mundo entero y vendrían científicos a hacernos pruebas de ADN y besarnos el c..., pero como sólo somos nosotros, los de esta Asturias perdida...

Terechu
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Terechu
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Berodia, a mí también me lo dieron y tampoco crecí gran cosa (1,60) pero siempre estuve muy sana. Y de vez en cuando, cuando les parecía en casa - según me viera mi güela - me daban de forma espontánea, a traición y puramente por deporte, bien jarabe para las lombrices, jugo de carne de caballo o aceite de ricino en su variante más asquerosa. Laughing Laughing

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Berodia, I too was given ponche and I didn't grow much either (1,58 m) but I've always been healthy. And every once in a while, when they deemed it necessary - whenever grandma said the word - I was given spontaneously, treacherously and just for sports either syrup for tapeworms, horse-meat juice or castor oil in its most disgusting version. Laughing Laughing

Terechu
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El Tampeno



Joined: 02 Dec 2003
Posts: 56
Location: Tampa

PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 8:58 pm    Post subject: Cornbread Reply with quote

Terechu,

About that cornbread your mom ate....is that what my family in Asturias
calls "borona"(please excuse the lack of a tilde)?

My grandparents never touched corn (they left Asturias in 1909). As we assimilated and began to eat some American dishes, such as corn-on-the-cob and popcorn (my grandparents thought we were insane!) often I would hear: "Chavalin, solo los cerdos comen maiz!"

On my first visit to Spain in 1974 my relatives explained that during the
Spanish Civil War, with food barely obtainable, they made a type of cornbread called borona....I also heard stories of hiding in the hills above the Rio Cubia for days at a time......"Asi los moros no nos encontraban"... I think they were referring to North African troops Franco had conscripted into service. On those days, they lived on castanas from the trees among which they were hiding.

My abuela enjoyed "castanas al horno" all of her life.
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Tony Carreno/Tampa Florida
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jomaguca



Joined: 18 Nov 2003
Posts: 230

PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Estoy de acuerdo con Terechu, porqué será qué en las comentarios de casa siempre salen a relucir las abuelas? yo de pequeñin era un ruín comedor y cuando tenía 4 ó 5 años mi abuela compraba carne de potro y me daba el jugo ,decían qué era muy bueno para abrir el apetito,pero tampoco crecí tanto 1,60cms. pero debío ser un buen remedio porqué hubo un tiempo qué tuve muy buen apetito y engorde bastante ,luego con ayuda del deporte lo bajé y ahora me mantengo,respecto a la genética no sé qué tediga mi abuelo medía casi dos metros y de momento nadie salió tan alto como el.saludos
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Terechu
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony, yes I was referring to borona or boroña. It used to be the traditional bread in Asturias, because we could never grow wheat due to the rainy climate and the lack of flat fields. It's still very popular, but hardly anybody makes it anymore, because it takes hours of baking. In the old days people had coal stoves that were on all day, so it didn't matter how long you had to cook the fabada or the boroña.

As to the "moros", yes they were mercenaries and regular troops from Morocco deployed in Asturias during the Civil War. Some were famous for their cruelty and much hated, but there were others who were nothing but young boys who had joined from sheer want. We have at home an old leather belt from the Nacionales' uniform, with the numbers 1 to 10 carved on the inside in Arab, which was given to my grandfather by such a boy as a farewell present. He had become friends with my mother's older brothers who were about 12 and 14 years old (he was no more than 15 himself).

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Sí Tony, me refería a la borona o boroña. Era el pan tradicional de Asturias, porque aquí nunca pudimos cultivar trigo debido al clima lluvioso y a la falta de campos llanos. Todavía sigue siendo muy popular, pero casi nadie la hace, porque hay que cocerla durante horas. Antiguamente la gente tenía cocinas de carbón, que estaban encendidas todo el día, con lo que no importaba cuánto tiempo había que cocer les fabes o la boroña.

En cuanto a los moros, sí, eran tropas regulares y mercenarios de Marruecos desplegados en Asturias durante la Guerra Civil. Algunos eran famosos y muy odiados por su crueldad, otros no eran más que unos críos que se habían apuntado para escapar de la miseria. En casa teníamos un cinturón de cuero del uniforme de los Nacionales, con los números del 1 al 10 en árabe grabados en lado interno, que se lo dió a mi abuelo uno de estos chicos moros como regalo de despedida. Se había hecho amigo de los hermanos de mi madre que tenían unos 12 y 14 años (él mismo no tenía más de 15).
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