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Greeks are among the healthiest people in Europe despite the crisis

05 March 2013 / 18:03:55  GRReporter
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Greeks live in good health eight years longer than the Germans on average and 4.5 years longer than Western Europeans as shown by the results of Eurostat study on the average length of life in different countries of the European Union.

The European Institute of Statistics states that Greek women born in 2011 are not expected to face serious health problems until they reach the age of 67. The women born in Malta and Sweden are in better shape than the Greek women are and according to estimates, they may be faced with serious health problems after the age of 70. As regards men, the age of 66 is considered critical in Greece, whereas it is 71 years in Sweden and 70 in Malta. Greek media give particular importance to the fact that the expectations for quality of life in crisis Greece are much better than in economically stable Germany.

The expectation of life without serious health problems is 58.7 years for the women in Germany and 57.9 years for the men as reported by Ethnos. The worst is the condition of the citizens of the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, who are expected to live in good health until the age of 52.

Many scientists argue that the good health of the Greeks is due to the Mediterranean diet, which is naturally imposed on them and which is dominated by olive oil, fish, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and wine in moderation.

Compliance with a normal diet with an emphasis on traditional Mediterranean menu can reduce the probability of heart attack, stroke and heart disease by 30%. These are the results of a study conducted in Spain for one year among 7,447 people, who were aged from 55 to 80 and were in risk groups – they were overweight, smokers, some of them had diabetes or high cholesterol as reported by the New York Times, which refers to the report published in The New England Journal specialised magazine.

So far, there has been weak evidence that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart diseases. They were based primarily on studies that relied on data showing that the people from the Mediterranean countries rarely suffer from heart disease, which is a fact that could have been attributed to factors other than the Mediterranean diet.

Heart disease experts said that the study was a triumph because it showed that the Mediterranean diet was just as effective in reducing the risk of heart disease as the use of the most rigorous medical methods. A very wide circle of experts welcomed the results. The edition cites Professor Rachel Johnson from the American Heart Association. She stresses that the research group in Spain focused on the impact of the diet on reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke rather than on the usual goals of weight loss and cholesterol reduction, as "At the end of the day, that is what really matters", she says.

Experts’ advices to people who are at risk and want to reduce the probability of these deadly diseases reaching them are to avoid trademark pastries and desserts in shops, limit the consumption of dairy products and processed meats and to prefer chicken, turkey, vegetables, nuts and rice. To include in their diet three times a week some type of fish or seafood, even if the products are canned or frozen; to drink wine rather than hard liquor and not to harass the body with sweet fizzy drinks; to eat unlimited quantities of fruits and use as often as possible olive oil instead of other types of oils. Red meat does not have to be completely off the menu, but it is good to consume it as rarely as possible.

Tags: SocietyHealthy lifeMediterranean dietGreece
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