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Endothelial dysfunction has been identified as an important underlying contributor to many kinds of heart problems. The endothelium is a thin layer of protective cells that line the inner walls of the arteries and heart. It helps ensure efficient blood flow around the entire body. An impaired or dysfunctional endothelium is a significant predictor of cardiovascular disease. Higher FMD results are a favorable outcome. For this research, patients were randomized to one of the following diets. Both diets included vegetables, fruit, and fish, recommended whole grains over refined grains, and were limited in red meat and sweets. The researchers evaluated endothelial function by FMD of the brachial artery at the beginning of the study and again after one year of dietary intervention. They found that patients who followed the Mediterranean diet had higher FMD compared to those following the low-fat diet, and they concluded that the Mediterranean diet is better for endothelial functioning compared to the low-fat diet. The Mediterranean diet works because of the focus on variety, real food, and plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and olive oil. What makes this study unique is that it specifically looks at patients with existing CHD and confirms that a long-term Mediterranean diet is a good choice. It means that the Mediterranean diet is not only useful for heart disease prevention, but it can also be recommended for patients with existing CHD or with severe endothelial dysfunction.
Large observational studies have found an association between trans fat and an increased risk of CVD, as well as a decreased risk of CVD in patients adhering to a Mediterranean diet. The study results suggest that the Mediterranean diet can be recommended as the best dietary strategy to protect endothelial health in patients with CHD. The popular eating pattern that’s good for your heart—the Mediterranean diet—is also good for your waistline, according to a review of five studies that compared the Mediterranean diet with other weight-loss diets. Nutrition is the study of food and how it affects the body. Cardiovascular disease CVD, including heart disease and stroke, is the leading cause of mortality in the United States. The only individual outcome that showed a significant decrease was stroke, with an NNT of in both Mediterranean diet groups. Outcomes for the controls were similar before and after they began receiving quarterly counseling.