Mediterranean diet cuts heart disease risk by nearly half

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I love Mediterranean cuisine. Roasted eggplant, feta cheese, smoky peppers, olive oil, fresh legumes, fish, red meat and copious amounts of wine – what’s not to love? The stunning shores of the Mediterranean Sea – Italy, Spain, France, Morocco, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Lebanon and Syria – have all contributed to the vibrant, flavourful, and rich cuisine.

Now there’s another reason why you should love Mediterranean cuisine even more. In a new study, “Adherence to Mediterranean is the Most Important Protector Against the Development of Fatal and Non-Fatal Cardiovascular Event: 10-Year Follow-up (2002-12) Of the Attica Study,” to be presented on March 15 at the American College of Cardiology’s 64th Annual Scientific Session in San Diego, researchers found that adults who closely followed the Mediterranean diet were nearly half (47 percent) less likely to develop heart disease.

Researchers revealed that the Mediterranean diet has direct benefits for heart health, in addition to its indirect benefits in managing diabetes, hypertension and inflammation; and is the first study to track 10-year heart disease risk in a general population.

While there is no set Mediterranean diet, according to the study, the diet commonly emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, fish, olive oil and even a glass of red wine. The Mediterranean diet is based largely on produce that is quite common or easily accessible in many parts of the world, which makes adopting to this dietary pattern and perhaps one that will potentially reduce your heart disease risk by nearly half, quite easy.

So indulge a bit tonight! Happy healthy eating.

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SUSAN WONG

Susan Wong is the Editor of Capital Lifestyle, a resident photographer, an award-winning journalist, radio presenter, full-time adventurer, long-time admirer of anything edible, and a spicy food athlete at Capital FM.

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