By replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat, the Mediterranean diet could play in a role in reducing the risk of lung cancer. According to recent studies, benefits of polyunsaturated fats have been widely reviewed by looking at the relationship between dietary components of the Mediterranean diet and cancer risk, diabetes, cardiovascular events, and Alzheimer’s disease. Within these studies, the primary conclusion shows correlation between fat intake and risk associated with lung cancer.
In a recent study, it was found that high intakes of total or saturated fat were associated with a 40-61% higher risk of lung cancer. However, if saturated fat was substituted with polyunsaturated fat, there was a 12% lower risk of lung cancer.
Adopting a Mediterranean style diet could be beneficial in reducing not only the risk of lung cancer, but also other types of cancer. It could also reduce risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular events, as well as improve cognition.
The Mediterranean diet is comprised of whole foods – as in foods that are minimally processed. The diet is rich in a variety of fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes, poultry, fish, nuts, olive oil, and moderate amounts of red wine. It is low in saturated fat but high in monounsaturated fat (found in olive oil, nuts and avocados) and polyunsaturated fat (found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, trout). Nuts and seeds are also rich in polyunsaturated fats (pine nuts, walnuts, milled flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds). Dairy is consumed in moderate amounts. Red meat is not typically eaten on a Mediterranean diet.