Health & Beauty Lifestyle

The Mediterranean Diet Protects Against Heart Disease Better Than Statins

Latest researches suggest heart disease is better treated with a Mediterranean-style diet than cholesterol-lowering drugs. The Mediterranean diet is widely recognised as one of the healthier nutrition habits in the world. It could reduce the risk of an early death for millions.

The Mediterranean diet means following eating habits which are far more common in Southern Europe – with less meat, more fish, more unsaturated fats such as olive oil and butter, and large quantities of fruit and vegetables.

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Ideally, it means eating four or more servings of fish a week, no more than three portions of meat, plus at least three servings of fruit and four portions of vegetables daily.

The diet also encourages eating legumes – such as lentils or beans – at least once a week, plus one or more serving of whole grains, with nuts and seeds, plus up to one alcoholic drink a day for women and two for men.

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Before being put on drugs the patients should be better prescribed the diet – rich in fruit, vegetables, fish, nuts, whole grains and olive oil.

Previously, cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins were believed to be the most effective method of combating heart disease, the leading cause of death in the UK.

Statins are said to help reduce major heart problems by around 24 per cent.

They are the most widely-prescribed drug in the UK.

According to the latest figures from the British Heart Foundation, cardiovascular disease causes more than a quarter (27 per cent) of all deaths in the UK – around 155,000 deaths each year – an average of 425 people each day or one death every three minutes.

Scientists say the government should consider handing out free fruit and vegetables, or subsidising such produce, to encourage the public to change its eating habits. The diet regime is already known to have a powerful protective effect against a number of diseases, including diabetes and cancer. 

High consumption of vegetables had the greatest impact on survival, followed by oily fish intake, amount of fruit eaten and consumption of mono-unsaturated fat, found in olive oil.


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