It is a widely known fact that the Mediterranean diet is highly beneficial for health and key to a long life, but now there is an added benefit that has been discovered.
A recent study has found a Mediterranean diet is better at dealing with cardiovascular disease than cholesterol-lowering drug statins. The study also found that those who had suffered with cardiovascular disease and had a Mediterranean diet were more likely to live longer.
Statins contain an enzyme which functions to slow down the production of cholesterol and low density lipoprotein in the liver, but consuming the Mediterranean diet works in the same way. The benefits of a Mediterranean diet can be experienced by those who have regularly consume it over a long period of time, but for those who have suffered from heart disease and stroke, it is not too late to feel the effects of the diet, as discovered by the study.
According to the research - which focused on 1,200 people with heart attacks, strokes and blocked arteries, and was conducted by the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention at the Mediterranean Neurological Institute in Italy - the Mediterranean diet is more effective - or just as effective - as taking statins to reduce cholesterol, and 37 per cent were less likely to die early, in comparison to those who consumed a diet high in fat, sugar, red meat and processed foods.
The Mediterranean diet, which originated from countries Spain, Greece, Italy and France is rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, cereal grains, fish and olive oil. Consuming the Mediterranean diet also involves healthy habits such are eating starchy food like wholegrain bread and pasta, eating less foods high in fat and sugar and eating less meat - especially red meat.
As a result of its health benefits, it is considered to be one of the best diets in the world. Those who regularly consume the Mediterranean diet - as well as exercising on a regular basis - tend to have lower levels of cholesterol, lower blood pressure and they are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. They also have stronger immune systems and they have a reduced risk of suffering from certain diseases later on in life, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. They also have a higher life expectancy.
A rich and nutritious diet like the Mediterranean diet is vital in order to maintain good health and live long, and it is even more essential the older you get. However it is easy to implement healthy eating habits and adopt a healthy lifestyle.