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UCAM-SALVAT Chair of Nutrition and Biotechnology

05/27/12

The UCAM-SALVAT Chair recommends adhering to the Mediterranean Diet

This teaching body has conducted a survey of UCAM students to test the quality of and adhesion to the standard Mediterranean Diet.

Murcia, 28/05/2012

To coincide with World Digestive Health Day, through its UCAM-SALVAT Chair, UCAM presented the conclusions of an innovative methodological/scientific food study designed by the university’s Nutrition Department. This study evaluated adhesion to, and quality indices in terms of, a Standard Mediterranean Diet by conducting a survey on adequate eating habits in a sample of the UCAM student population. Additional activities organised by the Chair in favour of healthy eating included the recent SALVAT Symposium on Digestive Health, with Step and Body Combat sports sessions, a prize draw for an iPad 3, a workshop on healthy cooking and a talk on the benefits of probiotics in terms of Digestive Health given by SALVAT’s Scientific Adviser for Medical Affairs, Eva Pareras.

As conclusions from this study, the UCAM-SALVAT Chair highlights the fact that promoting adequate eating habits through healthy diet models such as the traditional Mediterranean diet is one of the basic pillars of health promotion strategies. She also maintained that the progressive moving away from the Mediterranean diet over the last 30 years in the developed world and the fact that it has been replaced by abusive consumption of highly processed foods, added to stress, alcohol intake, smoking and reduced physical activity, has sown the seeds for a large number of digestive and cardiovascular disorders. “Virtually half of all Spaniards suffer from digestive disorders as a result of stress, poor diet or the use of antibiotics. After analysing the eating habits of the UCAM students, we found that barely 10.1% of them eat the recommended intake of cereals and only 19.8% eat the necessary amount of fruit, both foods being vitally important parts of the diet because of their fibre content”.

 “We also discovered that only 31% of the population consumes the recommended amounts of milk and dairy products. This may in part be due to lactose intolerance and we therefore recommend increasing use of probiotics, such as Protransitus. We also detected a marked increase in the consumption of cold processed meats, high in saturated fats and salt, bakery products, high in trans fats and "simple” sugars”, she reported. As positive data, however, researchers placed emphasis on the fact that the students did consume healthy foods like olive oil, poultry and beans and pulses. “To prevent deficient and unbalanced diets, we must encourage student interest in fresh and natural foods, as well as the need for regular moderate physical exercise, as this has beneficial effects on intestinal function. The public powers must provide human and material resources to help maintain our traditional dietary habits and make them compatible with lifestyles in modern societies”.

 More information from: Álvaro Galvache. Telephone: 968 278 847



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