There is more evidence that people who adopt a whole diet approach – such as a Mediterranean diet – have a lower risk of heart attack and cardiovascular-related death than those who follow a strictly low-fat diet. This is according to a new study recently published in The American Journal of Medicine.
Traditionally, Western Europe has two broad nutritional approaches – the Northern European and Southern European. The Mediterranean Diet is Southern European, and more specifically focuses on the eating habits of the people of Crete, much of Greece, and southern Italy.
Today, Spain, southern France, and Portugal are also included; even though Portugal does not have a Mediterranean coast.
The Mediterranean diet mainly focuses on increasing intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pasta and fish, olive oil, and eating less meat.
Studies have been carried out which compare the health risks of developing certain diseases, depending on people’s diets. People who adopted the Mediterranean diet have been compared with those who have an American or Northern European diet.
The following health benefits have been observed by people who have a Mediterranean diet:
- It’s good for your heart – researchers at McMaster University found an association between good heart health and certain food groups or dietary patterns including vegetables, nuts, monounsaturated fatty acids, and overall ‘healthy’ dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean diet. The study was publshed in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
- It can prevent diabetes – a study published by the BMJ revealed that the traditional Mediterranean diet can help protect people from type 2 diabetes.