A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that a Mediterranean diet that is rich in olive oil, fish, fruits, vegetables and nuts can reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.
Researchers at Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona recruited around 7,500 adults who had diabetes or other factors influencing heart risk and divided them into three groups. Two g the groups were made to eat a Mediterranean diet with one group given olive oil and the second group was supplemented with nuts. The third group formed the control group and ate a normal low fat diet.
At the end of five years, around 288 volunteers suffered from heart attacks though people from the two groups that had followed a Mediterranean diet were 30 percent less likely to suffer from heart disease or stroke compared to those from the control group.
"The quality of fat in the Mediterranean diet is very good. This good source of calories is replacing other bad sources of calories. In addition, there is a wide variety of plant foods in the Mediterranean diet. This is good news, because we know how to prevent the main cause of deaths - that is cardiovascular diseases - with a good diet", lead researcher Miguel Angel Martinez-Gonzalez said.