In a landmark study, published in one of the most highly respected medical journals, the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers compared the effects of the Mediterranean Diet, supplemented with olive oil and nuts, to a "low-fat” diet, in reducing cardiovascular events, such as a heart attack. The findings, published in 2013, were absolutely remarkable!
The study consisted of 7447 participants, both men and women, who had no known coronary artery disease at the start of the trial, though were considered to be at high risk for heart disease. A five year follow up demonstrated an astounding 30% reduction in cardiovascular events in the Mediterranean diet study group.
Further analysis of the study also observed a substantial reduction of diabetes development by 20-40%, as well as overall improved measurable risk profile for development of heart disease in the Mediterranean diet group.
This is powerful evidence that simple dietary measures and lifestyle modifications can have very dramatic positive results without pharmaceuticals. Even if used in adjunctive fashion, along with established medical therapies, one can only expect further profound benefits. The key to the success is in long-term adherence. It is not about the one tomato and a couple of peanuts per week, and otherwise the status quo French fries and hamburgers. It is about lifelong lifestyle and dietary changes.