Imagine being able to eat the world’s tastiest food, and getting rewarded with a happy heart for it? Rejoice! A daily diet that allows you to enjoy more olive oil, nuts, cheese, fruit, and wine has now been conclusively proven to lavish you with heart health benefits, cutting your risk of heart attacks and strokes significantly. The diet has a familiar name: Mediterranean.
But wait, there is more here to savor!
Take a look at this extensive study done in Spain. Coordinated by researcher Ramon Estruch, the study shows that adding a little more oil and more nuts to your Mediterranean platter could cut your risk of heart attacks by up to 30 percent. The comprehensive results of this valuable study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine early this year.
Interestingly, the five-year study shows that people who follow a “standard low-fat diet” reaped much fewer heart-healthy benefits than those who were allowed one liter of extra virgin oil per week and 30 grams of tree nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds) per week.
What makes this study even more significant is the profile of the subjects chosen: the age group was between 55 and 80, and most of these 7400 people were at high risk of heart disease — with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity or diabetes.
There are powerful reasons why the Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra olive oil and nuts, works in favor of the heart. Both of these foods have monounsaturated fat, which is good for arterial health. Extra virgin olive oil comes with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are shown to benefit the heart. The diet is low on meat consumption, which reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer.
So, if you are nuts about olive oil, bon appetit.