Our understanding of the relationship between good nutrition and cardiovascular health has become more sophisticated in recent years. Medline Plus has written that the Mediterranean-style diet has less meats and carbohydrates and more plant-based foods and monounsaturated fat than a typical American diet. For centuries many people who live in Italy, Spain, and other countries in the Mediterranean region have eaten this diet. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet may lead to "more stable blood sugars, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, and a lower risk of heart disease and other health problems."
Michael Smith has reported for MadPage Today on Feb. 25, 2013, Mediterranean Diet Curtails Heart Troubles.
Researchers have reported eating a Mediterranean diet which is rich in unrefined olive oil or nuts lowered the rate of major cardiovascular events, at least among people who are at increased risk for heart disease. According to Ramón Estruch, MD, PhD, of the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, and colleagues, in a randomized trial in Spain in high-risk people, those individuals who ate the Mediterranean diet which was supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or mixed nuts saw a reduction in the rate of major cardiovascular events by about 30% in comparison with a control group eating a low-fat diet. The researchers wrote online in the New England Journal of Medicine that these results support the use of the Mediterranean diet for the primary prevention of heart disease.
The researchers have noted the traditional Mediterranean diet is characterized by lots of olive oil, fruit, nuts, legumes, vegetables, and cereals, some fish and poultry, and limited amounts of dairy products, processed meats, red meat, and sweets. The Mediterranean diet also includes moderate amounts of wine with meals. David Jacobs, PhD, of the University of Minnesota in Rochester, who was not part of the study, has said, this study is important because it is one of the first to yield gold-standard evidence of the effect of a dietary intervention on heart disease. He said during a media conference, “What this study gives us is A-level evidence.”