Protect your heart, eat Mediterranean

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The Mediterranean diet is known to be good for people’s health and the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. But does this also count for people who already have a history of cardiovascular diseases? A new study reveals that it does…

The Study undertaken by Giovanni de Gaetano of the IRCCS Neuromed Institute in Pozzilli, Italy, shows that those suffering from cardiovascular diseases, can still benefit from eating a Mediterranean diet; lowering the risk of mortality in the years to come. It is said that it may be even more effective than some cholesterol-lowering medications.

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally and cost the lives of over 4 million Europeans per year. De Gaetano’s study followed 1,200 people with a history of cardiovascular diseases over seven years. Results reveal that those who most closely followed the Mediterranean diet had a 37% lower risk of mortality.

What is the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet is based on healthy eating habits from former eating traditions from Mediterranean countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece, found in the sixties. It was in these countries where people followed a healthier lifestyle and researchers found that these people showed a lower risk to cardiovascular diseases. These Mediterranean people were more relaxed, took their time to eat, used mainly fresh products and ate healthy. Unfortunately, this lifestyle has become less popular, even in the Mediterranean countries, due to the increasing popularity of fast-food for example.

The Mediterranean diet includes a lot of fruit and vegetables, fish, whole grains, legumes, nuts and the key ingredient; olive oil. This diet is rich in antioxidants and so-called ‘’healthy fats’’ that benefit our heart, instead of less healthy saturated- or trans fats. Such unsaturated fats can lower our cholesterol and help decrease high blood pressure.

Statins, the world’s most-sold medicine to reduce heart problems, lowers the risk of mortality by 18%. However, evidence proves that the Mediterranean diet gives people a lower risk of mortality, which lowers the value of medicines like Statins. So, start following the Mediterranean diet to improve your health and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Contact your nutritionist to find out more about the Mediterranean diet and how it can improve your condition.

 

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