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Fat-rich Mediterranean diet is healthier for you than a low-fat diet

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Posted January 5, 2019

Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Scientists are looking at ways to prevent it and one of the best options is doing it through diet. Specifically, the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fish and olive oil. Scientists from the University of South Australia showed that Mediterranean diet is even more effective at preventing cardiovascular disease than a low-fat diet.

Mediterranean diet is very colourful and tasty, but it is also considered to be one of the healthiest ways of eating. Image credit: popsique via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In many countries, cardiovascular disease is actually the single most common cause of death. With aging populations it is going to become even a bigger problem, but a healthy lifestyle can help preventing it entirely. Typically doctors advise their patients to get into a low-fat diet, because it’s been proven to reduce cholesterol levels and improve health overall. However, scientists are now saying that a dairy-enhanced Mediterranean diet will significantly increase health outcomes for those at risk of cardiovascular disease. Scientists advise enhancing the Mediterranean diet with two to three serves of dairy each day.

This kind of diet has a number of health benefits. It improves blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, mood and cognitive function. However, it also goes against commonly-held beliefs of what is actually healthy, because it is rich in fat. Having in mind that most doctors recommend low-fat diet, it doesn’t sound right to consume a fat-rich diet seeking for health benefits. However, scientists all over the world are finding Mediterranean diet to be one of the healthiest ways of eating in general. Mediterranean diet is based on extra virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, wholegrain breads, pastas and cereals, a little bit of fish and red wine. Meanwhile red meat, sweet and processed foods are uncommon in the Mediterranean diet.

Scientists say that diet should be tailored for a specific region – not all of us live around the Mediterranean sea. For example, Australians need more calcium to protect against osteoporosis. Alexandra Wade, one of the authors of the study, said: “In Australia, women up to age 50 years – and men up to age 70 years – should consume 1000mg per day of calcium per day and 1300mg thereafter, which is roughly between 3.5 and 4.5 serves a day”. And enhances Mediterranean diet allows meeting those needs.

But the best thing about the Mediterranean diet is that it is truly delicious. People want to eat healthy, but they also want to be amazed by their food. They want emotion and colour. And Mediterranean diet really does deliver all of that.

 

Source: University of South Australia

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