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Adults who closely follow the Mediterranean diet were almost 50% less likely to develop heart disease in the next ten years according to a Greek study that is due to be presented to the American College of Cardiology, and was found to be even more protective than exercise. This diet benefited people of either gender, any age, any health status.
The Mediterranean diet has long been considered to be protective to the heart, and is one of the most studied diets out there. This diet places a greater emphasis on seasonal vegetables, whole grains, vegetable fats (particularly olive oil), fruit, nuts, beans and legumes, and fish and a lower emphasis on red meat, dairy and refined sugars. Alcohol is also drank very moderately, but more frequently. A glass of red wine a day commonly features in the Mediterranean diet.
If we all converted to leaner forms of meat, but less of it (it is more expensive after all) and consumed more oily fish such as mackerel, salmon or sardines, and then upped our vegetable intake (which should always include at least one leafy green such as spinach, kale or spring greens), our health would benefit from it in more ways than just the heart. I’ve always been a keen advocate of the Mediterranean diet and you’ll notice that it features in much of the personal dietary advice I give out because it is considered to be an anti-inflammatory diet, and therefore it can benefit all manner of health matters from improved joints and skin, to better and stronger immune system and good gut health.
Seb is a writer and blogger of food and nutrition. He holds a bachelors and a masters degree in nutrition science, and has studied sports and exercise nutrition at postgraduate level. He specialises in plant-based nutrition and believes passionately that we can all live with a little less meat. He writes for www.veggieandspice.com and www.itsaboutnutrition.com