One bad thing about Mediterranean diet: You may eat lots of environmental contaminants

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In a new study from the University of Oslo, researchers found a Mediterranean diet can provide many health benefits, but people may risk consuming too many environmental contaminants.

They found people participating in the study who lived on a Mediterranean diet had three times the intake of environmental contaminants compared to when they were eating an ordinary, Western diet.

Many people swear by a Mediterranean diet, which involves eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes and fish, along with a little wine.

Another advantage is that this diet only contains small amounts of saturated fats from dairy products and red meat.

In the study, participants were divided into two groups: one ate a Mediterranean diet based on foods cultivated in an ordinary way, while the other group ate a Mediterranean diet based only on organically grown foods.

Before and after the period when they kept to a Mediterranean diet, the participants all ate their normal diet.

The researchers tested the participants’ urine and investigated which contaminants were present in the food they ate.

They found in the group living on a Mediterranean diet based on organically grown foods, the level of environmental contaminants sank by 90% compared to the group eating a Mediterranean diet with foods cultivated in an ordinary way.

The team found that several of the environmental contaminants they found are known or suspected to affect hormones in the body.

There is growing evidence that such toxins can weaken the immune defense system and perhaps also fertility. If hormones become imbalanced, they can also have a negative effect on the growth and development of children.

The team says fruits, vegetables and whole grains cultivated in a conventional way are some of the main sources of environmental contaminants absorbed through our diet.

Since a Mediterranean diet is based on such foods, those eating it had a ten times higher intake of these contaminants than if their diet had been based on foods cultivated organically.

If you care about diets, please read studies about this diet may reduce inflammation by boosting gut health and findings of diet alone can strongly improve health in older people.

For more information about diet and your health, please see recent studies about what you need to know about low carb diets and managing diabetes and results showing that most diets could lead to weight loss and lower blood pressure, but the effects last only 1 year.

The study is published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. One author of the study is Professor Per Ole Iversen.

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