The Mediterranean diet is one that is inspired by the more traditional eating habits of Italy, Spain, and Greece from the 1940s and the 1950s. This particular diet is rich in olive oil, vegetables, unrefined cereals, fruits, and legumes. There is also a moderately high consumption of fish, dairy products such as cheese and yogurt, a moderate consumption of wine, and low eating of any meat that is not fish. The diet is very similar to a pescatarian-styled diet.
It’s currently being reported by Medical News Today that studies are showing how this diet may actually extend a person’s lifespan, reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as lower risks of various other health concerns such as coronary heart disease and stroke.
The author of a newer study which was recently published in JAMA Network Open, Dr. Samia Mora, explains in detail how it is believed that the Mediterranean diet may in fact help fight these types of health issues for many people.
“While prior studies have shown benefit for the Mediterranean diet on reducing cardiovascular events and improving cardiovascular risk factors, it has been a black box regarding the extent to which improvements in known and novel risk factors contribute to these effects.”
This study is, in fact, a marker for the very first long-term study done within the U.S to better look into the impact that the Mediterranean diet has on cardiovascular issues, and the findings are shocking. The study of the Mediterranean diet and heart health showed that in the low intake group, 4.2 percent of women had a cardiovascular event. Mid-level intake showed the group having only 3.8 percent of women with a heart event, and those who were consuming the most were equal to mid-level.
“Higher [Mediterranean diet] intake was associated with approximately one-quarter lower risk of CVD events over a 12-year follow-up period.”
This study measured the levels of 40 biomarkers, some of which were the lipids, inflammation, metabolism, and lipoproteins. Besides the cardiovascular health benefits, the team also saw a correlation between a number of other metabolites, including the lipids.
“In this large study, we found that modest differences in biomarkers contributed in a multifactorial way to this cardiovascular benefit that was seen over the long-term.”
Some of the limits to the study were that the risks could just as well have been influenced by other unknown factors, such as genetics and other things that the scientists did not yet measure in this study.