Why you should turn Mediterranean

By admin
27 December 2014

Studies reveal a diet infused with olive oil can help reverse symptoms which can lead to heart disease.

The benefits of a Mediterranean diet have always been well known, with many advertising campaigns over the last few years emphasising how a diet rich in olive oil can benefit our health as we get older. Now new research has backed up these long-held beliefs, with studies revealing a diet infused with olive oil can help reverse symptoms which can lead to heart disease.

Researchers in Spain studied nearly 5 800 men and women aged 55 to 80 who were at risk of heart disease for nearly five years. The study group was split into three separate factions, all eating a different diet.

One ate a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil, the second followed a Mediterranean diet with added nuts and the last group consumed a low-fat diet.

Results showed the first two groups, both who followed a Mediterranean way of eating, lowered their obesity and blood sugar levels over the study period.

Obesity and blood glucose levels are both symptoms of metabolic syndrome, something which affects a quarter of the world's adult population and is a combination of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity which puts patients at higher risk of heart disease and strokes.

The results were particularly powerful when considering that 64 per cent of participants suffered from metabolic syndrome at the start of the study, but more than a quarter no longer had symptoms of the condition after following the diet.

The study was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and was led by Dr. Jordi Salas-Salvado, of Universitat Rovira i Virgili and Hospital Universitari de Sant Joan de Reus.

"Because there were no between-group differences in weight loss or energy expenditure, the change is likely attributable to the difference in dietary patterns," Dr. Jordi Salas-Salvado commented.

Results suggest the most beneficial diet was the one rich in olive oil as it seemingly showed the prevention of accumulating fat around the waist, which is often a predecessor to diabetes.

However the findings also highlighted the fact the diet failed to stop the onset of metabolic syndrome, but could help reverse it.

"Mediterranean diets supplemented with olive oil or nuts were not associated with a reduced incidence of metabolic syndrome compared with a low-fat diet; however, both diets were associated with a significant rate of reversion of metabolic syndrome," it stated.

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