<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=316078302060810&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Subscribe to Our Blog

New Study Links Mediterranean Diet to Lower Heart Disease Risk

March 28, 2013

A new study conducted by Spanish researchers showed that people who eat a Mediterranean diet containing high amounts of vegetables, fresh fruits, olive oil, fish, and nuts may be less susceptible to heart disease and stroke.

benefits of a mediterranean dietNearly 7,500 adults who were having diabetes or other risk factors of heart disease participated in the five-year study, and they were divided into three groups. The first group had to follow a Mediterranean diet that included additional olive oil, while the second group ate a Mediterranean diet with high amounts of nuts. Both groups also received personalized advice and participated in group meetings. The last group followed a “control” diet rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, and low-fat dairy products.

At the end of the study, the researchers found that the risk of cardiovascular disease in the subjects who ate the Mediterranean diets was 28% to 30% lower compared to those who followed the low-fat diet. Only 288 of the subjects experienced a heart attack, stroke, or other forms of heart disease, or passed away over the course of the study.

One of the researchers, Dr. Miguel Angel Martinez-Gonzalez, said that it is a combination of different types of food, and not any particular ingredient, that makes a Mediterranean diet beneficial to the heart. A Mediterranean diet contains high quality fat that serves as an excellent source of calories, as well as a wide range of healthy vegetables and fruits. According to him, people who are trying to follow a healthier diet should make small changes in the beginning, such as using olive oil for cooking, drinking red wine instead of hard alcohol during meals, and going meat-free for one or two days every week.

5 steps to healthy eating