Keys, et al, discovered low rates of coronary heart disease 50 years ago in the Mediterranean area. Fat intake in this area was high but was mostly olive oil. Feeding studies showed that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats reduced LDL, reduced triglycerides, and increased HDL cholesterol (beneficial effects). These benefits were stronger in people who had insulin resistance.
From the Nurses’ Health Study it was found that heart disease risk was increased with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil intake and decreased with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat intake. The partially hydrogenated vegetable oil was not a part of the Mediterranean diet.
Epidemiologic studies have shown the benefit of high intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and moderate alcohol use.
The author’s analysis shows that abstention from smoking, getting regular exercise, and the Mediterranean diet can prevent 80% of coronary artery disease, 70% of stroke, and 90% of type 2 diabetes.
CONCLUSION: The Mediterranean diet has been shown to improve people’s health in epidemiologic and metabolic testing.
NOTE: Read about the closely related Paleolithic diet.
Questions or comments? [email protected]
To read the author’s abstract of the article click on the link to the author’s title of the article above.