Mediterranean diet reduces risk of heart attack and co-despite fat
In addition to the Japanese diet, the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world. According to the latest studies, it can stop a real overeating and significantly increase life expectancy. With this diet, even the fats are extremely healthy!
The healthy Mediterranean cuisine
Experts repeatedly emphasize the advantages of healthy Mediterranean cuisine. Italian, Spanish or Portuguese dishes are not only extremely tasty, but often also have a positive impact on our health due to the ingredients.
Recently, doctors in the European Heart Journal reported that a Mediterranean diet for cardiovascular complaints protects against heart attacks and strokes. And Canadian scientists have shown that this food also protects the memory.
You don't even have to do without fat
Particularly positive: In order to lower your risk of heart attack, diabetes and cancer, you obviously don't even have to do without fat with a Mediterranean diet. Scientists led by Hanna Bloomfield from the Minneapolis VA Medical Center have now compiled and analyzed the current facts.
As the "Ärzte Zeitung" reports, they focused on studies that examined the effect of a Mediterranean diet without general fat restriction in primary and secondary prevention. Her results were recently published in the specialist magazine "Annals of Internal Medicine".
High fat content supplemented with nuts and olive oil
The results of the PREDIMED study (“Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea”), a study from Spain with 7,447 men and women aged 55 to 80 years, were included in their investigation. The fat content of the Mediterranean diet, which was either supplemented with nuts or with extra virgin olive oil, was up to 40 percent of the daily energy requirement.
With this diet, the risk of the subjects for severe cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack or stroke decreased by a relative 29 percent compared to the control group, which was required to eat a low-fat diet. The risk of type 2 diabetes was also 30 percent lower. However, this diet had no effect on overall mortality.
Breast cancer risk is reduced
Furthermore, the Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of breast cancer by 57 percent in the PREDIMED study. There is also evidence that this diet can lower the risk of other types of tumors. It is not clear whether Mediterranean food can prevent cognitive disorders and dementia.
There is a study that has shown that the Mediterranean diet has reduced the incidence of mild cognitive disorders by about 50 percent, but further investigation has not found a corresponding association.
Better than a low-fat diet
Another analysis of the PREDIMED study, published in the specialist magazine "The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology", also showed that a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetable fat from olive oil or nuts lowers body weight better than a low-fat diet.
As with most nutritional studies, some questions remain unanswered. Since many new findings come from the PREDIMED study, which examined the effect of Mediterranean food in high-risk patients, it is not clear whether their results can also be reproduced in other population groups.
In addition, since there is no clear and generally accepted consensus on the definition of the Mediterranean diet, such comparisons are difficult to interpret. The authors of the current study also point out that it should be investigated whether the observed effects can be attributed to individual components of the Mediterranean diet or the overall composition. (ad)