(NaturalNews) A study on the dietary habits of the Spanish population was recently completed. It focused mainly on the increased risk of cardiovascular dysfunctions associated with red meat consumption and pointed to a link between fish meat intake and an important decrease in the risks of diabetes development.
The research was conducted in the Valencia Province and included 945 test subjects, both male and female, between the ages of 55 and 80. The work was part of a larger Prevention with a Mediterranean Diet Study that was aimed at evaluating the impact that changes in traditional dieting habits in Mediterranean countries have had on human health over the years.
These changes included a shift towards high levels of red meat and industrial baking product intake that have heightened the risk of cardiovascular problems. No significant differences were observed with regard to male - female differences in fish ingestion, with females having a slightly greater preference for healthier foods.
While the increased levels of fat taken from red meats proved to be a major risk factor, the significant amount of fish meat present in the traditional Mediterranean diet, proven by previous studies to have beneficial effects on the heart, has also been associated with a decreased risk of diabetes and lower glucose concentration.
"We ought to establish dietary intervention programs so that we do not stray from the Mediterranean dietary habits. In other words, such a diet involves decreasing the amount of red meat that we eat and maintaining equal levels of fish consumption." said Mercedes Sotos Prieto, scientist with the University of Valencia and lead researcher of the study.
In general, fish meals present in diets provide the required amount of essential phospholipids and amino and fatty acids with valuable impact on boosting the immune system and helping optimal growth. The Omega-3 fat content helps prevent arteriosclerosis, increase cognitive functions or reduce the level of wear in the cartilages that could lead to osteoarthritis.
Seafood meals are also rich in minerals like zinc, iodine or selenium that have a helpful influence over the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and that lessen the effects of cancerous free radicals by boosting the production of protective enzymes.
The correlation between increased presence of fish meals in regular diets and lower type 2 diabetes onset has been mentioned in other experiments as well. This study comes to underline and confirm the conclusion even more so in the context of a population with feeding habits that contravene general accepted rules regarding a healthy diet: "the red meat consumption of the sample population reaches an average of once a day, which is high in comparison to recommendations" scientists noted.
The advantages of eating fresh fish, both white and especially oily, have been made evident, and while various assumptions have been given as to how the substances provided by fish meals help, the researchers have put forward the conclusion that a high level of omega-3 fat in the muscles will heighten sensibility to insulin.
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. In 2010, Michelle created RawFoodHealthWatch.com, to share with people her approach to the raw food diet and detoxification.