Meta-Analysis Suggests Major Health Benefits Of Mediterranean Diet
March 16, 2011 by Special To Personal Liberty
Researchers at Harokopio University of Athens have conducted a meta-analysis of 50 studies that examined the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet and found that it may be an effective way to stave off disease.
The diet is much like what is already considered a healthy plan for most cultures, as it consists of abundant fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. What sets it apart is the addition of olive oil, fish and daily moderate alcohol consumption with meals.
In their review, the researchers found that individuals who followed a Mediterranean diet had an overall lower risk of death from all causes and less chance of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and certain kinds of cancer. Also, eating these foods appeared to reduce belly fat, promote healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels and keep blood pressure at a normal rate.
Authors of the study said that widespread consumption of the healthy diet may lower rates of heart disease, obesity, hypertension and diabetes. Individuals who have a combination of these conditions are said to suffer from metabolic syndrome.
"The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome is increasing rapidly throughout the world, in parallel with the increasing incidence of diabetes and obesity, and is now considered a major public health problem," said lead investigator Demosthenes Panagiotakos, Ph.D.