Mediterranean diet cuts heart disease by 30% and lowers mortality

Mediterranean diet cuts heart disease by 30% and lowers mortality

The New England Journal of Medicine study was so thorough, rigorous and conclusive that experts were startled by the powerful and clear message; diet matters.  The study ended early because the results were so clear it was considered unethical to continue to feed people the poor diets...

The researchers did not look at risk factors; they only looked at heart attacks, strokes and death – who died and who did not?  And what did the survivors eat?

The study basically compared the usual modern diet (red meat, fizzy drinks and commercial baked goods), to a plant-based wholefood diet.

“This is good news, because we know how to prevent the main cause of death, cardiovascular disease, with a good diet”
Dr. Miguel Angel Martinez-Gonzalez, Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona.

“What this study gives us is A-level evidence; it is one of the first to yield gold-standard evidence of the effect of a dietary intervention”
David Jacobs, PhD, University of Minnesota, Rochester.

So what did this study, using the most rigorous of methods tell us? What did this thorough, genuine and respected diet; lifestyle and environmental study tell us?

  • 30% of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they switch to a Mediterranean diet
  • Those eating a higher serving of extra virgin olive oil had lower disease rates
  • Those eating more vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, legumes and wholegrains had lower disease rates
  • Those avoiding commercially made cookies, cakes and pastries had lower disease rates
  • Those who eliminated or drastically lowered their intake of dairy products and processed meats had lower disease rates

Study by Estruch R, et al “Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean diet” as published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Monday February 25, 2013; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1200303.  Dr. Ramon Estruch, a professor of medicine at the University of Barcelona, and his colleagues, studied 7,447 Spanish people who were smokers, diabetics or were overweight.  They were put onto The Mediterranean Diet and followed.  Senior author Miguel Angel Martínez-González, MD, PhD, of the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, also presented the data to the International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition in Loma Linda, California.  As reported on Monday February 25, 2013 by The New York Times.




Posted: Tuesday 24 September 2013