The Mediterranean diet defeats cardiovascular diseases!

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In a study carried out in Spain and published in "The New England Journal of Medicine», it was studied whether the Mediterranean diet contributes to the primary prevention of cardiovascular events. A total of 7447 subjects aged 55-80 years (57% women) participated for 4.8 years, who were at high CVD risk but without CVD at baseline.

The participants were divided into 3 groups and followed three different diets. The first group followed a Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil (about 1 liter per week), the second group followed a Mediterranean diet with an additional 30g of nuts per day (15g of walnuts, 7.5g of hazelnuts, and 7.5g of almonds) and the third group was the control group that was simply instructed to follow a low-fat diet. There was no calorie restriction or instructions for physical activity in any group.

The research results showed a protective mechanism for both groups following the Mediterranean diet versus the control group. Specifically, a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular diseases was found by approximately 3 cases per 1000 people. A significant reduction in stroke was also found in the two groups that followed the Mediterranean diet.

It was therefore observed that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with either extra virgin olive oil or nuts leads to a significant reduction in the risk of serious cardiovascular diseases among high-risk individuals. The results support the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

N Engl J Med 2013; 368:1279-1290 April 4, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1200303


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