According to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts or olive oil dramatically reduced the risk of heart disease and stroke compared with a low-fat diet.
A total of 7,447 people with high cardiovascular risk participated in the study and were assigned to one of three diets: a Mediterranean diet rich in fish, beans, fruits, and vegetables and supplemented with either mixed nuts (30 g a day of walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts) or extra-virgin olive oil (one liter a week) or a controlled diet (advised to reduce dietary fat).
Both Mediterranean diet groups had approximately 30% risk reduction in major cardiovascular events compared to the low-fat diet. These results are supported by other studies. The Lyon Diet Heart Study also showed a large reduction in rates of coronary heart disease with a modified Mediterranean diet and the Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial showed no cardiovascular benefit from a low-fat dietary approach.
In conclusion, the New England Journal of Medicine study supports the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Check out the full study at http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1200303#t=articleTop