Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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June 27, 2003

Time to get off that junk food!

25 June, 2003 - Health and sickness depends on what you eat and on exercising. In a recent study, reported in the Washington Post, researchers have found that "....People who eat a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil and fish have at least a 25 percent reduced risk of dying from heart disease and cancer."

And it's not enough to just add fruit and vegetables to an otherwise bad diet. The whole package is important. It almost works like a point system. The more you accumulate the "good points", the less you're subject to developing debilitating disease. Of course we have known this for some time, but official recommendations are still off the mark.

"The study found that the Mediterranean diet group suffered 73 percent fewer heart attacks or other heart-related problems and had 70 percent fewer deaths than those on the heart association diet."

Addition on 27 June 2003:

Of course with overweight and even clinical obesity becoming a major health problem in all civilized countries, there is also the possibility of simply eating less while choosing the more nutritious (healthy) foods. This is called the Calorie Restriction Diet and there are websites explaining how come such a diet has great potential to increase life span while drastically reducing disease.

Article from the Washington Post

'Diet Med' Cuts Cancer, Heart Risks, Study Finds

By Sally Squires
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 26, 2003; Page A01

People who eat a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil and fish have at least a 25 percent reduced risk of dying from heart disease and cancer, researchers reported in a study being published today.

For decades, scientists have had inklings that a diet that derives about 40 percent of its calories from healthy fat and about half from complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruit and vegetables, combined with daily exercise, could promote health and reduce premature death. But this is the first large trial of healthy men and women to demonstrate a significant reduction in death rates for heart disease, cancer and all other causes of mortality for those who follow a Mediterranean diet and are physically active.

"In the past, when we talked about the Mediterranean diet, we usually talked about cardiovascular benefits," Frank Hu, associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, said yesterday. "This is talking about primary prevention. The better the Mediterranean diet, the lower the cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality. . . . That is very intriguing."

The results suggest a middle course between the often confusing diet extremes, from the very low-carbohydrate, high-fat Atkins approach to the higher carbohydrate, low-fat U.S. dietary guidelines.

The findings also point to "diet as being very important in more ways than we had anticipated," said Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, who advocates boosting "healthy fat" in the American diet as well as adding more grains, fruit, vegetables and fish. (So-called healthy fats are found in such foods as olive oil, avocados, nuts and fish.)

The U.S government's recommendation of consuming only 30 percent of total calories in the form of fat may "not be optimal for many people," Willett said. But the study also "emphasizes that, for overall good health, eating porterhouse steak, butter and lard is not the way to go."

What the results underscore is the importance of the overall Mediterranean diet approach, rather than any one food type. In an article that accompanies the report, which is published in today's New England Journal of Medicine, Hu suggests that this could be explained in two ways: Either the effects of any one nutrient are too small to detect, or there may be synergistic effects of the Mediterranean diet that are important.

"That's interesting," Willett said, "because any one piece of the Mediterranean diet on its own was not so impressive. It's the whole package -- the fruit and vegetables, the nuts . . . all those things that seem to contribute."

The study involved 22,043 adults, ages 20 to 86, who live in Greece; people with diabetes and known heart disease were excluded.

Upon entering the study, participants were interviewed in depth about their daily diets and exercise habits. The researchers assigned points for each component of diet and lifestyle. For example, eating vegetables, legumes and beans, fruit, nuts, whole grains (in cereal, bread and pasta) and fish raised the scores. So did consuming more monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, rather than saturated fats, such as butter or cream.

Participants also received a point for drinking moderate amounts of alcohol -- about a glass of wine a day for women; two glasses for men -- but got a zero if they imbibed more or less than that. Regularly eating meat, poultry, sweets and dairy products, which in Greece are generally high in saturated fat, added no points and resulted in a lower overall diet score.

The research team, which was led by Antonia Trichopoulou of the University of Athens Medical School and Dimitrios Trichopoulos of the Harvard School of Public Health, then tracked participants for an average of nearly four years. They also took into account age, sex, years of education, smoking status, body mass index (to gauge overweight and obesity) and waist-to-hip ratios, which help determine the risk for heart disease and diabetes.

The study found that the higher the healthy diet score, the lower the risk of death. For every two-point rise -- achieved, for example, by eating a lot of vegetables and consuming beans and nuts daily -- the risk of death dropped by 25 percent, the study found.

"This says you can get tremendous benefit from simply moving away from unhealthy foods, and there are multiple ways that you can achieve this," Hu said.

Daily physical activity also played a critical role in reducing mortality from heart disease and cancer, the study found. People who engaged in at least an hour a day of very vigorous activity, either on the job or at leisure, had a 28 percent reduced risk of mortality compared with their more sedentary counterparts.

The effects of physical activity "cannot be overemphasized," Hu said.

The findings echo the results of smaller studies, including the Lyon Diet Heart Study in France, that have hinted at the health benefits of the Mediterranean lifestyle. In the Lyon trial, researchers randomly assigned 605 people diagnosed with heart disease to follow either a Mediterranean-style diet or the American Heart Association diet, which derives about 30 percent of calories from fat, including 10 percent or less from saturated fat.

In this study, people assigned to the Mediterranean group were encouraged to eat more fruit, vegetables and fish, to cut back on red meat and to use olive oil instead of butter and cream.

The study found that the Mediterranean diet group suffered 73 percent fewer heart attacks or other heart-related problems and had 70 percent fewer deaths than those on the heart association diet.

See also:

Eating fast food more than twice a week has strong links with weight gain and insulin resistance, a US study shows.

Ban Trans Fats - The campaign to ban partially hydrogenated oils

Why fast food makes you get fat

U.S. Government Influenced by Sugar Industry

One might say these (articles here following) indicate setbacks in the junk food fight, but we must remember that indeed people are responsible for what they do, including for what they put down their gullet. If someone wants to kill themselves eating nothing but fast food, they are welcome to do so. Freedom of choice does however start with free access to unfiltered information, and that is where government could act, making propaganda less pervasive by countering it with real information.

Court dismisses McDonald's obesity case

US shields fast-food firms from obesity cases

'Supersize me' mice research offers grim warning for America's fast food consumers
It's research that may have you thinking twice before upgrading to the large size at your favorite fast food joint. Saint Louis University research presented this week in Washington, D.C., shows the dangers of high-fat food combined with high fructose corn syrup and a sedentary lifestyle in other words, what may be becoming commonplace among Americans.


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Friday June 27 2003
updated on Friday December 10 2010

URL of this article:


Related Articles

Why Fast Food Makes Us Fat
..."The hidden reason fast food makes us fat: It has a very high energy density--about 65 percent higher than a typical diet and twice as high as recommended healthy diets--which makes us eat more than we otherwise would. Energy density refers to the amount of calories an item of food contains in relation to its weight. Foods with a high energy density confuse the brain's control systems for appetite, which... [read more]
November 19, 2003 - Chris Gupta

The good, the bad and margarine
I must say I am a great fan of butter. Never did like the "artificial" kind that was hyped as more healthy: margarine. As the decades passed, we found out about trans fatty-acids and about the absorption of fat soluble vitamins. And after half a century, all of a sudden butter does not seem so bad any more - compared to margarine. Partially hydrogenated margarines and shortening are even worse... [read more]
September 29, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger

The following article (extracted from Dr. Lawrence Wilson's information dense site) is one of the best that I have seen on this issue. While the propaganda mill of the industry has hood winked us into thinking that their counterfeit copy is better - the real reason is the considerable profit that margarine, and other processed foods bring over the more expensive natural products. The cost of the margarine is based... [read more]
November 24, 2004 - Chris Gupta

Crime and Nutrition
Tjarko Holtjer, a friend in the Netherlands who runs a well fed multilingual website about health freedom, nutrition issues and more, has sent an article which I would like to pass on. Criminal behaviour and violence depend very much on nutrition. Some vitamins or essential minerals - if out of balance - can make the difference between a sane fellow and a violent criminal. Same thing at school - nutrition... [read more]
October 15, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger

Food Additives, Sugar and IQ
All the nutrients necessary for good health can be found in a normal, varied diet. That is the mantra repeated again and again by health authorities, dieticians and those politicians who believe them. What we aren't told is that our normal, varied diet is seriously deficient and full of things that tend to destroy any nutritional advantage. Thanks to Jon Rappoport for this article about a research done in more... [read more]
January 15, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Big Mac fails the test
Time and again we hear from officials that we need not worry about supplementing vitamins, our normal food contains all our bodies could ever desire. Not so, I say. At least not for the millions around the world who eat fast food with any regularity. Someone actually checked it out. He ate nothing but McDonalds food for a month, three meals a day. Here is the story, published in the... [read more]
January 27, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger




Readers' Comments

Were can i find info for a project on effects of junk food on people?

Posted by: Leon on August 30, 2003 03:46 AM


hi i am denise and i am 13 and looking for a way to get off junk food i only weigh like 110 and i am 5'1" and i would like to lose 10 pounds but my parents like to buy junk food alot!! please help me thanks!

Posted by: denise on October 21, 2004 12:08 PM


Hi Denise,

there is lots of information on the internet about eating well. You'll have to do some research yourself.

First of all, it would be best if your parents also shared your desire to eat well and stay healthy. Try talking with them.

Second, you are responsible for your own health. There are lots of books on eating well. Just check your local library, or if you like, look around the internet for information.

Don't go for any fad (you must only eat this, you must avoid that) the best nutrition is from a wide variety of foods, with lots of veggies but really eating a bit of everything...

Posted by: Sepp on October 21, 2004 02:49 PM


I was wondering if a kid had to much "Junk Food" if he would gain weight more than he would if he ate just little bits at a time. I was also wondering if you ate a more healthy diet and you did exercise would you lose weight or gain it.
Also I was hoping that you could send me some more information about the affects of "Junk Food". Thank you very much.

Posted by: jordan on December 15, 2004 12:19 AM


hi jordan,

food supplies the fuel our bodies need to run. Some of the fuel is awfully dirty, so the motor clogs up after a while. We have to go for repair - the doctor. Most doctors don't understand foods, by the way.

What we call Junk Food (mainly all the sweets, soft drinks, fast food) is certainly not the right fuel. What's proper is fruits, veggies (better if raw) nuts, and food that hasn't been treated so much as to lose its nutrients.

As a rule, the more and the hotter you cook foods, the less of their nutrients will be left when we eat them. Nuking food in the microwave is out. It makes foods much more hot than normal cooking as it directly "shakes" the molecules by violent electromagnetic wave action.

Start doing some research on the net, googling "nutrition", "junk food" "nutrients" and see what you find.

And yes, eating better will automatically make you gain less weight, or lose weight if you already have it. Exercise helps, but even simply getting out and running or walking or doing some sport is fine. The key is to move that body around...

Posted by: Sepp on December 15, 2004 12:55 PM



Wicked info!!

It has helped a lot for our health assignment. We are trying to get the message to teens that constantly eating bad health is really bad for them.

Can you get any disturbing facts that will might scare some teens into eating healthy. Like really groosome pics.

Ya if u could send some to my email addy. (



- - -

Thanks for that comment Kelly

Look at this article on Mercola's site for a gooey mess.

Bet You Never Knew There Was This Much Fat in Potato Chips


Posted by: Kelly on September 21, 2006 10:24 PM


Children doesn't like vegetables. Though vegetables and legumes have lower risk of heart disease, certain cancers, high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes. It may have bad taste or doesn't look good to the eyes but still we must encourage the children in eating them.

Posted by: takiz on February 21, 2007 11:31 PM


Everything is in the eyes of the beholder ... I know children who LOVE vegetables and will eat them as if they were sweets.

It only depends on what you are used to. Unfortunately it is us, the parents, who train children to love sugary foods and the refined crap that passes for nutrition these days.

Why not make an example and start eating differently ourselves? Children will not develop bad eating habits unless WE teach them.

Posted by: Sepp on February 22, 2007 05:03 AM


I was just wondering:

- what are the side effects of junk food and what it will do in the future?

-What food should people eat a day? (including the major and minor nuntrients)?

Thanks! It would help me on my project!

Posted by: eas on June 25, 2007 06:30 AM


i ate alot of junk food when i was a kid and i mean alot, my mom would buy it for me and i would stash it in my room so my sisters wouldnt eat it. now im 17 and have been eating healthy for about 2 years and i eat junk food once in a while, can my future health be jeprodized by my bad years?

Posted by: karoline on July 1, 2007 01:55 PM


eas -

you\'ll have to do some research on good nutrition and what foods to eat. I can\'t write your project for you.

Nutrition almanac by Lavon J. Dunne is a book I have found useful for this.

karoline -

let the past be the past. Whatever has happened has happened, and usually nothing is irreversible, so if you\'re eating well now, you should be ok.

Take a look at that nutrition almanac as well. Got good information on eating but also on the specific nutrients, and what they are good for by way of preventing trouble.

Posted by: Sepp on July 1, 2007 04:23 PM


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The Individual Is Supreme And Finds Its Way Through Intuition


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

These articles are brought to you strictly for educational and informational purposes. Be sure to consult your health practitioner of choice before utilizing any of the information to cure or mitigate disease. Any copyrighted material cited is used strictly in a non commercial way and in accordance with the "fair use" doctrine.



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