Want to improve your health and even live longer? Don’t skimp on those healthy fats!
A Mediterranean diet, modified to include plenty of olive oil and nuts, has been shown to lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke, and dying from a cardiovascular-related reason by a whopping 30%. That is, at least, according to a new study, primarily funded by the Spanish government, that tracked over 7,000 people between the ages of 55 and 80 for nearly five years.
Prior research has linked a Mediterranean diet, heavy on fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and grains and low on processed foods, red meat and dairy, to a healthier heart. This is the first time, though, that researchers have been able to single out the effects of diet, and not other lifestyle choices, on heart health. The researchers studied three groups — one, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra olive oil, two, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra nuts, and a third control group, who ate a more general low-fat diet.
So what’s the takeaway here? Well, essentially, diet places a bigger role on your heart’s health than previously thought. And, because cardiovascular conditions are the leading cause of death in the United States, having a healthy diet is advice we should all take to, well, heart.