Nowadays, hardly a day goes by without the publication of new and sometimes rather dubious studies on nutrition. They all claim to have found the panacea for staying slim and health for as long as possible. Unfortunately they are often singing from quite different hymn sheets: one day it may be animal fats that we should consistently avoid and the next day it is carbohydrates that seem to be the cause of all evil. In this jungle of studies it is difficult to get a clear perspective – but not impossible:
Thirty percent fewer heart attacks
If you ask doctors and nutrition experts about the links between health and nutrition, many will refer to the PREDIMED trial (Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea). In 2013, Spanish investigators in this trial found that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil or nuts has extremely positive effects on health and lowers the risk for cardiovascular disease. For example, the incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke was reduced by up to 30 percent among participants in the trial who received a Mediterranean diet compared with the control group, who kept to a simply, low-fat diet.
More fish, less meat
This Mediterranean diet is characterized above all by large quantities of fruit and vegetables, unsaturated fats from fish and cold-pressed vegetable oils as well as little red meat. Anyone who wants to change to a Mediterranean diet should observe the following dietary recommendations:
- At least 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil a day
- At least 3 portions of walnuts and peanuts a week
- At least 3 portions of fruit and 2 portions of vegetables a day
- At least 3 portions of fish and pulses a week
- White meat rather than red meat
- Fizzy drinks, pastries and sweets less than 3 times a week
- Less than 1 portion of red or processed meat and fatty spreads
Heart groups support a healthy lifestyleOur heart never stops beating - 50 to 90 times a minute, around 100,000 times a day. And yet we often don’t appreciate its work until a myocardial infarction. Through 140 heart groups sufferers and relatives throughout Switzerland receive support in their efforts to find a healthy lifestyle for the heart. The main focus of this support is on a regular exercise programme and information on nutrition, smoking cessation and stress management.
SWICA supports participation in a heart group with a contribution towards the cost from the supplementary insurance plans COMPLETA PRAEVENTA and OPTIMA. A list of all the heart groups and further information about the heart and circulation can be found at the Swiss Heart Foundation (in French, German and Italian).