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Mediterranean Diet Reduces a Woman’s Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

According to the Heart.org, “adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MED) is associated with a 25% reduction in the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), compared with those who do not follow this diet, new research suggests.”

The current research cited was published in the December 7th in the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Network Open (jamanetwork.com), which used a prospective cohort design. 25,994 female health professionals – 45 years or older and free of CVD at baseline, as part of the Women’s Health Study – were assessed from food-frequency questionnaires. The participants were followed up to 12 years.

According to the study, “the potential mediating effects of a panel of 40 biomarkers were evaluated – including lipids, lipoproteins, apolipoproteins, inflammation, glucose metabolism and insulin resistance, branched-chain amino acids, small-molecule metabolites, and clinical factors. Baseline study information and samples were collected between April 30, 1993, and January 24, 1996. Analyses were conducted between August 1, 2017, and October 30, 2018.”

The Mediterranean Diet: (Mayoclinic.org)

  • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Enjoying meals with family and friends
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
  • Getting plenty of exercise

The study concluded that, “higher MED intake was associated with approximately one-fourth relative risk reduction in CVD events, which could be explained in part by known risk factors, both traditional and novel.”

Remember, you should always consult your physician before beginning any exercise, diet, or nutritional supplementation program.

Mackie reviews the Mediterranean diet on WWL-TV