A new study carried out by Harokopio University and published by the American College of Cardiology has found that closely following the Mediterranean diet can significantly lower your risk of heart disease. The researchers found that the Mediterranean diet, which consists of grains, nuts, fish, olive oil and fruits and vegetables, can cut your risk of developing heart disease by almost half.
The study included more than 2,500 Greek adults, aged 18 to 89, whose diets and health were tracked for 10 years. Nearly 20 percent of men and 12 percent of women in the study developed or died from heart disease. At the end of the 10 year period, the researchers found that people who most closely followed a Mediterranean diet were 47 percent less likely to develop heart disease than those who did not.
This study further reinforces the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which has been previously associated with weight loss, lower blood pressure, and lower blood cholesterol.
“Our study shows that the Mediterranean diet is a beneficial intervention for all types of people — in both genders, in all age groups, and in both healthy people and those with health conditions,” said study co-author Ekavi Georgousopoulou, a Ph.D. candidate at Harokopio University in Athens. “It also reveals that the Mediterranean diet has direct benefits for heart health, in addition to its indirect benefits in managing diabetes, hypertension [high blood pressure] and inflammation,” he said.
Lucky for us, the Mediterranean diet is not restrictive and includes many of the foods you’re probably already used to eating! Common foods like fruits, pasta, fish and beans are all included in this diet, making it very easy for you and your family to reap the benefits of this diet at a low cost. If you’re looking for some easy recipes to get you started on the Mediterranean diet, make sure to check out our recipe page!