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By Rachel Bluth, Kaiser Health News
Once again, your mother was right. You really need to eat your vegetables. And while you're at it, putting the olive oil up and taking it back, the contention that switching to a Mediterranean diet could significantly lower the risk of heart disease.
Published in JAMA Network Open, people who followed this type of diet had a 25 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease over the course of 1
The diet's components make sense to anyone who follows nutrition news. Avoid red meat in favor of "good" fats like fish and poultry. Swap out salt for herbs and spices. Ditch butter and margarine and opt for olive oil instead. Most important, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Nuts are good, so are whole grains. And, every once in a while, have a glass of red wine.
Since the 1950s, researchers have pointed out these possible cardiovascular benefits. More recently, it has been credited with addressing any number of ills, including Alzheimer's disease and asthma, and with helping pregnant women Friday's study, though, had no randomized trials conducted in the US to determine this diet's long-term effects.
Shafqat Ahmad, the lead author of the paper and a researcher in.
The mechanism by which the Mediterranean reduced cardiovascular disease The Department of Nutrition at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
Ahmad and his co-authors, using a panel of nine biomarkers in blood tests, were
Inflammation was the issue for Meg Grigoletti, a 23-year-old graduate student.
The three largest biological mechanisms were changes in inflammation, blood sugar and body mass index.
from New Jersey who switched to a Mediterranean Diet in 2014. Her doctors recommend it to reduce swelling, hoping that it would ease the pain in her back and help her migraines.
"It's more of a lifestyle than a diet, "Grigoletti said.
Researchers have more than 25,000 women who were part of the Women's Health Study, a survey of female health professionals older than 45. At the beginning of the study, participants completed a questionnaire on 131 different foods to assess their diets. They were then assigned "med scores" on a scale of 1 to 9, based on how closely they followed the Mediterranean diet.
There were three levels. People who were scored between zero and 3 were on the low end, 4 to 5 were in the middle and 6 and were categorized as a high intake of Mediterranean diets.
The participants' cardiovascular health was then tracked for 12 years.
In the middle category, a 23 percent reduction in risk and the upper category had a 28 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, claim about 600,000 lives each year. Coronary heart disease is the most common form, killing more than 370,000 people annually. Each year, about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack.
For instance, the study relied on self-reported data, which is not always accurate – especially when it involves diet choices. The participants, all of whom were female health professionals, might lean toward healthier behaviors than the rest of the population.
Andrew Freeman, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness, National Jewish Health Hospital, Denver.
"There's a signal out there, but the signal that's been out
He also acknowledges that there is a lot of competing nutritional information swirling around the airwaves and the internet, which amounts to "a whole lot of hype" and makes healthy eating habits a difficult diet for many consumers.
And doctors do not have clear information, either. Freeman said.
He switched to a mostly plant-based diet after his residency, and lost 35 pounds. He now recommends this approach to his patients, too. He said he has seen his patients' conditions – heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes – improve.
"Health and nutrition is the place where there is a chance of a cure," Freeman said.
Kaiser Health News is a non-profit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.