Let’s take a closer look at the “Mediterranean Diet”.
The Mediterranean Diet is a way of eating based on the traditional foods, of the countries which surrounds the Mediterranean Sea. It is a healthy lifestyle, that includes foods, activities and meals with family and friends.
Key Components of the Mediterranean Diet:
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:
- Consumption of primarily plant-based foods, including fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts
- Using olive oil as butter substitute
- Substituting herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
- Limiting the consumption of red meat to a few times each month
- Making fish and poultry a part of the weekly diet or at least twice a week
The research included more than 2,500 Greek adults, aged 18 to 89, whose health and diets were tracked for 10 years. Nearly 20% of men and 12% of women involved in the study, developed or died from heart disease.
Individuals who closely followed a Mediterranean diet were 47% less likely to develop heart disease, as compared to those who did not closely follow the diet. The study also found that following to a Mediterranean diet was more protective against heart disease compared to that of physical activity.
The study showed that the Mediterranean diet is beneficial for all types of people and gender, including all age groups, in both people with health conditions and healthy people.
Also it proves that the Mediterranean diet has direct benefits for heart health, including indirect benefits in managing hypertension, diabetes, and inflammation.
And because the Mediterranean diet is based on food groups that are quite common, people could easily adopt to this dietary pattern and thus help protect themselves against heart disease.
While the research found an association in choosing to follow the Mediterranean diet and a lower risk of heart disease, a cause-and-effect link was not proven.