The Mediterranean diet has long been regarded as the gold standard in how to eat to best support your health. Now a new study has found that the therapeutic diet, rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and heart healthy oils may have even more benefits to offer.

The recent study was carried out by researchers from Greece and based on data from a representative sample of more than 2,500 Greek adults, aged 18-89. The results showed that those adults who closely followed the Mediterranean diet over a ten-year period were 47% less likely to develop heart disease compared to similar adults who did not closely follow the diet. The researchers also noted that women tended to follow the Mediterranean diet more closely than men.

Lead researcher Ekavi Georgousopoulou commented,

“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.

Because the Mediterranean diet is based on food groups that are quite common or easy to find, people around the world could easily adopt this dietary pattern and help protect themselves against heart disease with very little cost.”

It also reveals that the Mediterranean diet has direct benefits for heart health, in addition to its indirect benefits in managing diabetes, hypertension and inflammation.

Ekavi Georgousopoulou, et al. To be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 64th Annual Scientific Session.  “Adherence to Mediterranean is the most important protector against the development of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular event: 10-year follow up (2002-2012) of the Attica Study.”

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