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Mediterranean Diet is Good for the Heart

According to a recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, older adults at risk for heart disease who ate a Mediterranean diet for three months improved their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels compared with a group who ate a low-fat diet.

The study included 772 adults who had diabetes or three or more risk factors for heart disease, such as abnormal cholesterol levels, high blood pressure or smoking.

The study tested two Mediterranean diets. Both included large amounts of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. One group increased their levels of vegetable fats and received free olive oil. The second Mediterranean group increased vegetable fats and oils and received free walnuts, hazel-nuts and almonds. The third group lowered their intake of all fats.

Both Mediterranean groups experienced lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, and both Mediterranean groups found it easier to stay on the diet than those who followed a low-fat diet. However, the participants were Spanish, and researchers say this may have been a factor in participants finding the Mediterranean diets easier to follow since they were closer to their native foods.

Used with permission from www.health-eheadlines.com, © 2006, Write On, Inc.

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