Mediterranean diet lowers heart disease risk

USA Today reports that according to a study published PLoS One, “Midwestern firefighters who most closely adhered to a Mediterranean diet had fewer risk factors for heart disease than those who didn’t eat this type of diet.”

For the study, researchers “developed a system to analyze Mediterranean diet eating patterns, and used it to score the dietary habits of 780 male firefighters, over age 18, from 11 fire departments in two Midwestern states.” In addition investigators “examined the men’s comprehensive medical records including their body weight, height, body fat, blood pressure, blood lipids and physical fitness levels.”

HealthDay reports that the study found that firefighters “who adhered most strongly to the diet had a 35 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome compared to the group that adhered the least.”

In addition, “those who adhered most closely to the Mediterranean diet … had a 43 percent lower risk of weight gain compared to those who adhered the least closely.”

In study after study, the researchers said, the Mediterranean diet has been linked with better health status. “This study is one more in the long line of Mediterranean diet studies showing the benefit of a lifestyle that encompasses more plant foods and regular activity,” said Diekman, author of The Everything Mediterranean Diet Book.

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