Recent news has reported the health benefits of a Mediterranean Diet. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine and reported in the New York Times concludes positive results. Conducted in Spain, this study shows that following a Mediterranean diet provided a 30 percent reduction of cardiovascular events among people with high cardiovascular risk.
Comparisons were made among participants following a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts, and a control diet, advising participants to eat low-fat. The study ended early because the results were clearly beneficial. The risk of death from heart attack, stroke or heart disease was reduced by 30% in the group using extra-virgin olive oil, and a 28% decrease in group supplemented with nuts. Results were less favorable for those on the control diet.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in plant foods like fruits and vegetables. It also contains legumes, whole grains, about 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil per day and a combination of 30 grams of nuts per day. Unprocessed seafood and poultry were used, with little to no consumption of red meat. Moderate consumption of red wine was recommended as well as abstaining from processed carbohydrates, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup. What is so special about this study? The science clearly supports the benefits of using good nutrition as a primary intervention and treatment for heart disease. Secondly, it shows that eating real, whole foods in place of processed and refined foods prevents major disease, no matter what name you give to a particular diet.
To get a closer look at the details of the study, click here.
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