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Originally published December 9 2014

Adherence to Mediterranean diet improves kidney health, study finds

by PF Louis

(NaturalNews) Of all the diets out there with their ballyhoo promotions by advocates, it appears that the Mediterranean Diet is the most studied of all. Maybe because it's the most accessible for those who actually buy food and cook, and maybe because it fulfills the palate's various taste sensations so liberally.

Usually, the studies center on weight loss, diabetes reduction and heart health. Now there's a Mediterranean diet study for kidney health.

Kidney health seems to be relatively unappreciated compared to heart health and obesity concerns, until kidney stones appear or dialysis is required.

The Mediterranean eating approach

The beauty of this approach is that it's wide open to all sorts of unprocessed whole foods as long as moderation is the rule. There's very little design for pastries and other sweets, but whole grains can be consumed daily. The Southern European approach to bread and pasta is more wholesome than what is common in the States.

Traditional baking includes fermentation without rushing and baking without bromides or other toxic additives and preservatives. Pasta and couscous are also less tainted, and they're consumed regularly. Bleaching flours with chemicals is usually taboo.

Fish, especially shell fish, dominate the fleshy animal foods, and they are rarely if ever battered and fried. No fish and chips here. Some lean meats are included in moderation. No 10- or 12-ounce New York Strips and daily quarter-pound burgers either.

A wide variety of vegetables, legumes, olives and nuts are available all days of the week. Abundant pure olive oil is part of the Mediterranean tradition. The Mediterranean diet includes higher consumption of whole fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fish, legumes, nuts, seeds, heart-healthy fats, and non-GMO whole grains while minimizing red meats, processed foods and sweets.

In the Mediterranean areas, foods are usually produced regionally. Eggs and dairy products such as fine cheeses and yogurts are fresh from small farms instead of large mechanized dairies that poison their cows in terrible conditions with GMO mush, antibiotic injections, and the GMO hormone rBGH to force unnaturally high milk production.

The Mediterranean dining culture is based on pleasure. Taking ample time to eat and enjoy what's on the table with relaxed good company and a little wine is part of this culture. It's almost sacred. No rushing and no bad vibes are allowed around mealtimes.

Generally, portions are moderate compared to the Standard American Diet's compulsion to excessive consumption of not-so-whole foods. Moderate daily exercise usually involves daily functioning with working, walking, bike riding and dancing.[1]

The Mediterranean diet pyramid outlines the what's to be consumed proportionally compared to other foods. There is a Mediterranean food pyramid graphic you can view here.

The study that proves the Mediterranean diet benefits kidney health

Almost forgot about the study with all that cuisine cruising. Time for some science-based evidence to tell us about how kidney health is kept from deteriorating with aging. Researchers at Columbia University, the University of Miama and the University of Athens in Greece conducted a survey among older north Manhattan residents.

The study combined northern Manhattan residents of mixed ethnicity and race, with a mean baseline (start of study) age of 64. Women outnumbered men slightly at 59% of the total 700 participants who were observed over a 6.9-year period. The researchers used a numbering system to indicate degrees of adherence to the Mediterranean diet.[2]

They found that for every one point added to the adherence score, the prospect of kidney decline or disease dropped 17%. Scores that closely approximated the actual Mediterranean diet decreased the likelihood of chronic kidney disease by 50%, while rapid kidney function decline was reduced 42%.

"The Association between a Mediterranean-Style Diet and Kidney Function in the Northern Manhattan Study Cohort," appeared October 30, 2014, in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology online.[3]

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