“Mediterranean Diet Leads to Better Heart Health”
Although as future dietitians, I think it's important to remain neutral concerning specific diets, it's hard to deny the amount of information supporting the Mediterranean diet and its benefits for a myriad of diseases. This article discusses the Mediterranean diet's ability to reverse Metabolic Syndrome, characterized by three or more of the following risk factors: Low HDL, high triglycerides, large waist, high blood pressure and high blood sugar.
The research compared a low-fat diet to a Mediterranean diet (whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fish, legumes), supplemented with extra fats from either extra virgin olive oil or nuts. The research, which was conducted on 6,000 men and women at increased risk for heart disease in Spain, found that although the Mediterranean diet didn't reduce the chance of developing Metabolic Syndrome, it did increase the chance of reversing this syndrome compared to a low-fat diet.
“Those on the Mediterranean diet with extra olive oil were 45 percent more likely than those on the low-fat diet to reverse the condition and those on the Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts were 28 percent more likely to reverse metabolic syndrome, according to the study”
Additionally, the research found that 28% of the subjects had reversed their Metabolic Syndrome in a five year follow-up.
This study is important for CNM's, as it provides another way to supply medical nutrition therapy for patients. Metabolic Syndrome is a prerequisite to heart disease and its reversal could prevent heart disease and the costs associated with treating it.