Tim White

New Study Gives Mediterranean Diet High Marks
New Study Gives Mediterranean Diet High Marks

The dramatic results of a groundbreaking new study show that people at high risk for heart attacks, strokes, and death from heart disease can significantly reduce their risk if they eat a Mediterranean diet that’s high in fish, nuts, fruits, vegetables and olive oil. The results are so good, in fact, that the study was stopped after nearly five years because the benefits of such a diet were so obvious that it would be unethical to continue with study subjects not eating that way. The researchers found that eating a Mediterranean diet reduced overall risk for heart attack, stroke or death from cardiovascular causes by 28 to 30 percent, compared to just a low-fat diet. If the diet included extra servings of nuts, stroke risk was reduced by 46 percent, and if it included extra virgin olive oil, the stroke risk went down 33 percent. If you’d like to try the Mediterranean diet, the guidelines given for the study subjects were:

  • Eat white meat instead of red.
  • Eat fish and legumes, such as beans, lentils and peas, at least three times a week.
  • Avoid sweets such as sugary beverages and baked goods and limit consumption of dairy products and processed meats.
  • If you drink alcohol, have at least seven glasses of red wine with your meals each week.
  • Eat at least three servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables daily.
  • The group whose diet was supplemented with extra virgin olive oil was told to use at least four tablespoons each day.
  • The group whose diet was supplemented with extra nuts ate one ounce of mixed nuts — walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts — daily.

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