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Mediterranean Diet is Better Than Statins for Fighting Heart Disease – Study

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Did you know that eating a healthy Mediterranean diet could be better than statins at reducing your risk of an early death?, that is according to a study.

A new study which looked at the effects of a Mediterranean diet on individuals with poor heart health, the popular Meditteranean diet appeared to help heart patients more, as compared to statin drugs.

Experts said individuals with cardiovascular disease should be prescribed a diet high in vegetables, olive oil and nuts before doctors consider turning to pills.

Mediterranean Diet
Mediterranean Diet for heart health / photo credit

What the Study Has to Say

Researchers revealed the findings of the observational study at the European Society of Cardiology conference in Rome.

For the study, heart disease expert Professor Giovanni de Gaetano and his colleagues tracked 1,200 people with a history of strokes, heart attacks, and blocked arteries over 7 years. Over the course of the study, 208 participants died.

The researchers revelaed that the more participants follow the Mediterranean diet, the less likely they were to die over the course of the study.

Patients who follow a mainly Mediterranean diet, were 37% less likely to die during the study, as compared to those whose dietary patterns were furthest from the Omega-3 fatty acid-rich diet. This did not change, even after the researchers adjusted for sex, age, exercise, class and other habits.

Recent studies showed that statin drugs reduce the risk of heart problems by 24%.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

A Mediterranean diet incorporates the traditional healthy living habits of individuals from countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. These includes France, Italy, Spain and Greece.

Mediterranean cuisine varies by region, but is largely based on fruits, vegetables, beans, vegetables, olive oil, cereal grains and fish.

You diet can be more Mediterranean style by:

  • Consuming vegetables and fruits
  • Consuming starchy foods, such as past and bread
  • Consuming less meat
  • Consuming some fish
  • Choosing products made from plant and vegetable , such as olive oil

Statin Drugs – Its Dark Side

The majority of individuals with high cholesterol will be prescribed a statin. Also, many patients with Type 2 diabetes will also be given the statin drug as a preventative measure, as diabetes is the number one cause of heart disease.

But these statin medications have a dark side. They are so common, that many people have no idea that statins are linked with over 300 adverse events, including cataracts, other eye problems and thyroid cancer in women.

Every pharmaceutical drug comes with risks, some of which are pretty serious. Therefore, it is encouraging whenever a natural alternative is shown to be just as effective, or more effective than pills.

Since the study was only observational and relied on the participants to self-report what they consumed, further research is needed. But, with all the amazing health benefits that a Mediterranean diet provides, it might be a good idea to make the switch now.

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