Previous research projects on the ‘Mediterranean’ style diet have indicated a range of health benefits. Interest has grown over recent decades as nutritionists and scientists considered mortality rates and the low incidence of certain diseases – such as those related to the heart – in Mediterranean countries such as Spain.
The Mediterranean diet is typified as one high in fruits, vegetables, virgin olive oils, certain nuts and fish; conversely there is a low consumption of dairy products, red meats – and certainly an absence of processed modern foods.
Now a major research project just published in The New England Journal of Medicine seems to add real authority to the benefits of the Mediterranean diet – specifically in relation to the fact that it “cuts strokes and heart attacks in at-risk groups”. The study carried out by a range of eminent institutions began in October 2003 and took the form of a ‘randomised controlled trial (RCT)’.
The reporting of the research was worldwide – it is of course a significant health news item. We have provided a link below to the story as it broke in the Guardian Newspaper. We also have links to the relevant New England Journal of Medicine research and similarly on ‘NHS Choices’.
NHS Choices is a fantastic section of their website that goes ‘Behind the Headlines’ to ‘provide an unbiased and evidence-based analysis of health stories that make the news’. It really is worth reading their analysis of the research in full. And we do not want to quote them ‘in isolation’ yet their praise for the efficacy of the research seems clear, and their conclusion:
..”Despite these limitations, this large and well-conducted study adds to the body of previous research on the benefits of a Mediterranean style diet for the heart and circulation.”
NHS Choices Article: Mediterranean diet cuts heart and stroke risk
Guardian Article: Mediterranean diet ‘cuts strokes and heart attacks in at-risk groups’
The New England Journal of Medicine: Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet