The knowledge that the Mediterranean diet has many health benefits is something that is certainly not lost on The French
Paradox, nor many of our readers. From reducing the risk of diabetes and cancer to weight loss and to cardiovascular benefits, the Mediterranean diet is certainly a lifestyle choice that many people should consider.
A new study in the journal Public Health Nutrition aimed to add to the already long list of studies examining the relationship between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular health, particularly in regards to non-fatal myocardial infarction (a.k.a. “heart attack”).
760 non-fatal heart attack patients admitted to various hospitals in and around Milan, Italy (580 men and 180 women, between the ages of 19 and 79) were recruited for this study. An additional 682 patients (439 men and 243 women, between the ages of 16 and 79) with non-cardiovascular related ailments also admitted to the same Italian hospitals were recruited as controls.
Adherence to the Mediterranean diet for each participant was determined via interview and assigned a Mediterranean Diet Score.
- Higher consumption of vegetables and beans were negatively associated with non-fatal heart attack risk.
- Higher consumption of fruits and nuts were positively associated with non-fatal heart attack (though statistical significance was considered “borderline).
- There was no association between dairy, fish, or alcohol consumption with non-fatal heart attack.
Results of this study indicate that higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with lower risk of non-fatal heart attack in Italian adults. Specifically, eating a lot of veggies and beans was the most significant contributing factor to this reduced risk, while fruits and nuts also tended to reduce the risk of non-fatal heart attack in the study population.
Turati, F., Pelucchi, C., Galeone, C., Praud, D., Tavani, A., and La Vecchia, C. 2015. Mediterranean diet and non-fatal acute myocardial infarction: a case-control study from Italy. Public Health Nutrition 18(4): 713-720.