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Many cardiovascular deaths could be prevented by a Mediterranean diet
Diet is an important factor for our health. Researchers have now confirmed once again that a so-called Mediterranean-style diet reduces the likelihood of cardiovascular diseases. According to this, a general change in diet could lead to fewer people suffering from a stroke or heart attack.
The British scientists from the recognized University of Cambridge found out that a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. A change in diet could avoid around 12.5 percent of cardiovascular deaths in the UK. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "BMC Medicine".
British study analyzes benefits of Mediterranean nutrition
A healthy diet can avoid many health risks, the authors say. A study in the UK analyzed the benefits of a Mediterranean diet. The researchers wanted to find out whether such a diet could reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Mediterranean diets could save 12.5 percent of Britons from cardiovascular death
If the British were to adhere to a Mediterranean diet, this could potentially avoid around 12.5 percent of cardiovascular deaths in the UK, explains lead author Dr. Nita Forouhi from the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge. Therefore, one can already say that the so-called Mediterranean cuisine reduces the risk of heart attack and avoids unnecessary deaths.
What is a Mediterranean diet made of?
Traditionally, a Mediterranean diet includes a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and olive oil. In return, this type of diet reduces the amount of red meat consumed and instead contains moderate amounts of dairy products, fish, poultry and wine. Doctors found that even the fats are healthy in the Mediterranean diet.
Study examined 23,902 subjects
For their investigation, the scientists analyzed the data from 23,902 healthy British subjects. These participants were medically monitored between the ages of 12 and 17 to investigate a possible association between a Mediterranean diet and the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases and associated deaths, the authors explain.
Is a Mediterranean diet more effective than cholesterol-lowering drugs?
The results support previous studies that recognized the health benefits of eating a Mediterranean diet. In August, another study found that a diet high in vegetables, nuts, fish, and oils reduced the likelihood of premature death from heart disease by around 37 percent. It has even been suggested that such foods could be even more effective than cholesterol-lowering drugs, the experts add.
Nutrition benefits well documented in the Mediterranean area
The benefits of the Mediterranean diet for cardiovascular health are well documented in the Mediterranean countries, explains Dr. Forouhi. The new study was the first to assess the impact of the Mediterranean diet in the United Kingdom.
Changing diets had a significant impact on the population
Our results are largely representative of the UK population as a whole, the experts say. “We assume that a higher level of compliance with a Mediterranean diet would have a significant impact on the burden of cardiovascular diseases,” emphasize the researchers.
Diet is just one component to avoid cardiovascular disease
Promoting the introduction of a Mediterranean diet appears to be a promising component in preventing cardiovascular disease, the scientists say. Of course, there are other important factors, such as not smoking and having a healthy body weight. The cholesterol level in the blood and blood pressure should also be checked and kept at normal levels, the doctors add. (as)