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Med diet 'can lower heart risk'

09 March 2015 08:49

Full of goodness: A Mediterranean diet

Full of goodness: A Mediterranean diet

People could halve their chances of getting heart problems by eating a Mediterranean diet, according to new research.

This suggests that holidaymakers visiting the likes of Greece, Turkey and Italy may pick up good culinary habits while eating local dishes on their travels.

That is because the regional diet is packed with good foods, such as fish, nuts, beans, fresh vegetables, fruit, olive oil and whole grains.

The facts

An Athens-based university recorded the well-being of over 2,500 Greeks aged between 18 and 89 from 2001 to 2012.

The ones sticking to standard Mediterranean diets were found to be 47% less susceptible to coronary disease than the ones who veered away from this regime.

Harokopio University rated volunteers from one up to 55, scored on their intake of 11 different food groups.

Researchers linked every one-point rise in this rating to a 3% fall in the risk of coronary disease.

Tackling the threat of heart problems

Mediterranean diets can go towards insuring against heart problems in later life.

But older people need to safeguard their holiday plans too.

They can take out over-65s travel insurance to protect against the worst that nasty surprises can bring, such as baggage losses and travel delays.

What the scientists say about Mediterranean diets

The university's Ekavi Georgousopoulou said that adopting such a diet worldwide could be easily achieved at a small cost.

This is because the food groups involved are easy to locate and are "quite common".

He added that the diet was proven to help people across a vast spectrum, across both genders and all age ranges, whether they are healthy or not.

The results were announced at the American College of Cardiology's San Diego-based yearly scientific session in California.

Previous studies found an association between Mediterranean diets and several health benefits. These included reduced blood cholesterol rates, reduced blood pressure, weight loss, plus a lowered risk of developing diabetes.