Mediterranean Diet Magazine
Three-month journal
News bulletin of good health
No 15 - October 2015
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WARNING! The following guidelines are to information purposes only and are not absolutely intended to replace the advice of doctors, nutritionists or dietitians, whose intervention is necessary for the prescription and the composition of customized therapies.

The health of heart and arteries

The health of our heart and arteries can be put at risk by the presence of cholesterol in the blood.
In particular, the "bad" cholesterol LDL, which tend to assemble along the walls of the blood vessels by promoting the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, causing problems to the normal circulation of the blood.
If this problem is not properly controlled, can lead to very negative consequences on the cardiovascular system.
For this reason, by your doctor, it is advisable to periodically check the level of cholesterol in the blood, to act correctly and promptly, if necessary.
To prevent an increase in the amount of cholesterol or reduce the level, if too high, the first thing to do is estimate the own lifestyle and especially the food.
The diet is in fact able to impact positively or negatively on the levels of cholesterol in the blood.
More precisely, the real enemies in the "war on cholesterol" are the saturated fats of animal origin contained in eggs, milk, butter and dairy products, fat meats, sausages and hydrogenated vegetable fats which are found in margarine, the vegetable fats contained, for example in oven product as croissants, breadsticks, crackers and biscuits.
With the alimentation is possible allied find in the "war on cholesterol" the vegetable sterols, vegetable substances structurally similar to cholesterol, that absorption reduce in the intestine and thus contribute to the maintenance of normal levels of cholesterol in the blood.
But where do we find them in the foods we eat every day?
Food sources of vegetable sterols are many, including the extra-virgin olive oil, soybeans and the rice. Interesting concentrations are also found in vegetables, especially in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cereals and dried fruit.

Source: Am J Health Syst Pharm, 2010 Jul 15.

Main aspects of Mediterranean Diet

Main aspects of this diet are: total elimination of the animal fats, high consumption of carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes and extra-virgin olive oil, moderate consumption of meat and fish, low consumption of dairy products and wine.
Therefore, a diet low in carbohydrates and alcoholics contributes to a low blood pressure.


What is glycemia?

The Glycemia is value of glucose concentration in the blood.
Its value is expressed in mg/dl and/or in mmol/mol.
The normality of this value is concerning to intake of meals and it is for this reason value a possible abnormality with three methods.
The first and most common test glucose random (called blood glucose random) or by examining the blood sugar without having information about the last meal made.
With this test is defined a normal value of less than 200 mg/dl.
The second and assessment of fasting glucose, a test much more specific to do far from meals.
A normal value is between 60-110 mg/dl.
A value between 111-125 mg/dl is considered impaired fasting glucose (IFG).
With values exceeding 125 mg/dl are suspected a diagnosis of diabetes, if this condition again occur to a subsequent measurement.
Finally, the third is that of glycated hemoglobin, the sugar loading in the blood for a long time (about two months), so by achieve a mean between from 20 to 38 mmol/mol, where 20 is lowest value, and 38 highest value which it is assumed a suspected alteration, while the decision-making level for a diagnosis of diabetes is 48 mmol/mol.
The determination of glucose is carried out on venous blood, but in recent years have been developed portable devices (so-called glucometers) that running the control in a few seconds, of a drop of blood taken from the fingertip through the puncture of a needle.
This allows a better control of the diabetic pathology with a lower occurrence of complications.
In many cases, especially due to a incorrect diet, the Mediterranean Diet is recommended in order to facilitate the normalization of blood sugar values.
Mediterranean Diet is a way of eating based on the traditional foods and drinks of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
Mediterranean Diet is a great way to lose weight and improve your health. It is a lifestyle including foods, activities, meals and moderation wine with meals.
Scores of leading worldwide scientists has defined the Mediterranean Diet as one of the healthiest in the world.
Just as important, the diet is full of delicious flavor-filled dishes.


Symptoms of high Cholesterol

High Cholesterol does not cause any symptoms to the patient, except for rare cases of familial hypercholesterolemia, where because of the very high blood cholesterol levels (600 - 1200 mg/dl) you can see some deposits of cholesterol on the skin, on tendons and around the cornea of the eyes (corneal arcs) and lipid plaques (xanthomas) within the skin of the elbows, knees and buttocks.
While it not cause, at least apparently, no symptoms or troubles to patient, high cholesterol is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, which is recognized the dubious distinction of being the leading cause of death in industrialized countries.
In particular, high cholesterol is perhaps the most important causative element in the onset of atherosclerosis, a degenerative disease of the arteries of large and medium caliber, to which it subtract progressively elasticity and flow.


Symptoms of high Glycemia

Impaired fasting glycemia and in any case not more than 125 mg/dl, then without any suspicion of diabetes, does not produce any symptoms.
As for the initial symptoms of the disease itself, depend from type of diabetes: in case of type 1 diabetes, as a rule the symptoms:

Polyuria (increased urine output)
Polydipsia (to thirst)
Fatigue (feeling tired)
Weight loss
Dry skin
Susceptibility to infections

Normally the sugars in foods, once absorbed, are transported from the blood in all parts of the body where the cells are able to retrieve it thanks to insulin; if this substance is not produced in sufficient quantity or the cells become insensitive to its presence, the energy produced from sugars is no longer available and the body gets tired, expressing fatigue and muscle weakness.
In the case of type 2 diabetes, the symptoms are less obvious to the point of not allowing a rapid diagnosis.
We therefore have a high glycemic index, but without the characteristic symptoms of type 1 diabetes.
Is clearly essential for the diagnosis detecting a high glycemic index, that is the amount of sugar in the blood essential symptom of diabetes. It can be know this with a blood test, whether it is done in the hospital or at pharmacies that offer this service.


Diabetes Mellitus type 2

Diabetes Mellitus type 2 or adult-onset diabetes, is a metabolic disease characterized by high blood glucose in a context of insulin resistance.
The type 2 diabetes is for about 90% of cases of diabetes with the remaining 10% mainly due to type 1 diabetes mellitus and gestational diabetes.
Obesity is considered a major cause of type 2 diabetes in individuals who are genetically predisposed to disease.
Diabetes Type 2 is initially treated with diets and physical exercises.
If, through these measures, the levels of glucose in the blood are not adequately reduced, it may be necessary to give drugs such as metformin or insulin.
In patients who require insulin, usually, there is an obligation to regularly check the levels of sugar in the blood.
The diabetes rates have risen dramatically in the last 50 years, in parallel with the obesity growth.
In 2010 there were approximately 285 million people with diabetes as to about 30 million in 1985
The long-term complications caused by an excess of glucose in the blood can lead to heart diseases, stroke, diabetic retinopathy, renal failure, poor blood circulation in the limbs which could lead to amputations.


Diabetes type 1

The Type 1 diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs predominantly in childhood and adolescence, even if they are rare in adult-onset.
Diabetes mellitus type 1, to be a part of autoimmune diseases category because it is caused by the autoantibodies production that attack cells within the pancreas that are predisposed to insulin production.
As a consequence, is reduced until to zero completely, the production of this hormone whose function is to adjust the utilization of glucose by the cells.
Occurs, therefore, a situation of excess glucose in the blood identified with the hyperglycemia name.
The lack or shortage of insulin, therefore, does not allow the body to use sugars that are introduced through the diet so eliminate their in the urine.
In this situation the body is forced to produce energy in other ways, mainly through the metabolism of fats, which involves the production of so called ketone bodies.
The accumulation of ketone bodies in the body can lead to very dangerous consequences to coma.