Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Traditional Mediterranean diet

A traditional Mediterranean diet rich in fruits and vegetables can do miracles for people fighting obesity and obesity-related diseases. But adding nuts to this spread may help manage metabolic syndrome, a group of health problems including abdominal obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high glucose levels, all known as risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The Mediterranean diet has long been associated with a lower risk for metabolic abnormalities. The Mediterranean diet bases mostly on a high intake of fruits and vegetables, grains, fish and poultry, foods said to be high in antioxidants and omega 3, offering the body its most needed elements necessary in keeping it young and thus in preventing diseases.

The new study involved 1,224 people in Spain aged 55 to 80 who were at high risk of heart disease. One group received advice on a low-fat diet while two others followed a Mediterranean diet, one getting an extra liter of alive oil per week and the other receiving an additional 30 grams of mixed nuts daily.

Two thirds of the participants met the criteria for metabolic syndrome at the beginning of the study. However, after one year, the condition decreased by about 14 percent among those who ate nuts compared with 7 percent in the olive oil group and 2 percent in the control group on a low-fat diet. Weight didn’t change among the participants after one year. But those on the Mediterranean diet plus nuts knew a drop in waist size, triglycerides and blood pressure compared with those on the low-fat diet.

By Anna Boyd

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