The major characteristics of the Mediterranean diet favourably affect cancer risk. The Mediterranean countries are considered favourable not only on cardiovascular disease, but also on cancer risk.
Researches today are focusing on the consumption of olive oil, wholegrain carbohydrates with low GI – glycaemic index and GL – glycaemic load, fish, and diet rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on cancer risk.
Italian researchers from Milano (Cristina Bosetti et al.) examined the data derived from a series of case-control studies, conducted in Italy since the early 1990s, on over 10 000 cases of thirteen cancer sites and over 17 000 controls.
They concluded that olive oil, and other mono- and unsaturated fats are favourable indicators of:
- ovarian cancer
- breast cancer
- upper aero-digestive tract cancers. For these types of cancers whole grain foods are mainly related to reduced risk of upper aero-digestive tract.
- Fish intake typical for Mediterranean diet has a protective role against various type of cancer while frequent red meat intake was directly related to some common neoplasms.