The Mediterranean Diet That Heart Health


The Mediterranean diet has long been known that heart health, reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome, a set of risk factors that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, according to a new study.

Researchers from Greece and Italy examined the results of 50 published studies involving a total of more than 500,000 participants in a meta-analysis - a statistical analysis of results of similar studies - on the Mediterranean Diet.

Among their findings: Food-based natural foods is associated with a lower risk of walking in blood pressure, blood sugar and triglycerides, and reduced risk of a decrease in good cholesterol - all factors risk of metabolic syndrome.

"This is the first time in literature, perhaps the first thing someone looks through a meta-analysis of cardiovascular risk factors, not just the result hard" for heart disease and other conditions, said Dr. Demosthenes Panagiotakos, lecturer at the University Harokopio Athens, Greece.

The study is published in the March 15 issue of the Journal of American College of Cardiology.

Mediterranean diet is a model of daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy products, weekly consumption of fish, poultry, nuts and legumes, high consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids, primarily from olives and olive oil and a moderate daily consumption of wine or other alcoholic beverages, normally with meals. consumption of red meat and processed foods are minimized.

The metabolic syndrome - more common in America - occurs if someone has three or more of the following five conditions: blood pressure greater than or equal to 130/85, fasting glucose greater than or equal to 100 mg / dL, a tour size of 35 inches or more in women and 40 inches or more in men, an HDL ("good" cholesterol) below 40 for men and below 50 in women, triglycerides less than 150 mg / dL.

During the test, Panagiotakos and his team found the Mediterranean diet is strongly associated with reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, "refusing to specify the exact percentage, because the data are not entirely compatible.

The research team also noted that further study was necessary because some of the studies reviewed also interventions such as physical activity and smoking.

The results are not surprising, says Dr. Ronald Goldberg, professor of medicine at the Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, who reviewed the results. Because many studies have confirmed the role of the Mediterranean diet reduce heart disease, he noted, it is logical that the diet would also reduce the risks that lead to heart disease.

But when Americans are happy to processed foods and fast, how would they be willing to adopt the diet? "Not particularly," Goldberg acknowledged. But, he added, nutritionists, recognizing that the reluctance has recently begun efforts to adapt the system to different cultures - for example, including many Hispanic foods in a Mediterranean diet suitable for those from Latin America.

By doing this, not only the diet containing the same nutrients that the Mediterranean diet, but the familiar foods of similar ethnicity, "said Goldberg.

Panagiotakos said that even American fast-food lovers can eat more of the Mediterranean. "Even though fast food, we can introduce a healthy, such as salads, fruits and vegetables, grains and legumes, and use good sources of fat can change the steaks in all of these products -.. This is a nutrition education"