Mediterranean -v- low fat

There is increasing evidence to suggest that people who adopt a whole diet approach such as the Mediterranean diet, have a lower risk of heart attack and cardiovascular related death than those who follow a strictly low-fat diet.

This is according to a new study recently published in The American Journal of Medicine. The researchers noted that while a low-fat diet may lower cholesterol, they found people who followed a whole diet approach, particularly the Mediterranean diet, had a greater reduction in cardiovascular death and non-fatal heart attacks than those who followed a strictly low-fat diet.

The findings show that consuming a variety of cardio-protective foods in a diet is better at preventing heart disease than a standard low-fat diet. For example, the Mediterranean diet focuses on increasing intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pasta and fish, eating products made from vegetable and plant oils, and eating less meat.

The investigators say this diet incorporates foods that are low in saturated fat, but it also encourages intake of monounsaturated fats that are known to lower cholesterol. This whole diet approach with equal attention to what is consumed, as well as what is excluded is more effective in preventing cardiovascular disease than low-fat, low-cholesterol diets.

The Mediterranean Diet is rich in vegetables, fruit, peas and beans and grains. It also contains moderate amounts of chicken and fish. There is little red meat and most fat is unsaturated and comes from olive oil and nuts. The Mediterranean Diet has certain types and amounts of food and has been shown to reduce the risks of developing heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

In combination with moderate exercise and not smoking, the Mediterranean Diet offers a scientifically researched, affordable, balanced, and health-promoting lifestyle choice.

These advantages are clearly not afforded to us through a low fat diet alone.

22 Mar, 2014

4 thoughts on “Mediterranean -v- low fat

  1. I’ve heard a lot about the mediterranean diet the past few years and I agree that it is probably the best for people that want to cut their risk of these diseases.

    It makes sense that just a low fat diet won’t do the job completely and that we have to add the good foods in with the low fat diet to get good results. There are many foods that fight against certain diseases. Like the cabbage family, (cabbage, cauliflower, etc) help to fight cancer.

    Foods that are full of antioxidants are also very good. You have to take out the bad and put in the good.

    1. A mediterranean diet that incorporate antioxidant foods make an ideal diet wanting a healthy lifestyle. I agree. Thanks Lisa!

  2. It’s interesting that a low fat diet in itself is insufficient. All we seem to hear in the media is about reducing saturated fat intakes, but not about the importance of a whole diet approach.

    I am fortunate in that I really like all the foods you have mentioned in the Mediterranean diet.

    1. I agree with you. You’re right… we’re told to reduce our saturated fat intake, which is good, but the whole diet approach isn’t normally mentioned.

      Television chefs seem to be the main culprits. They cook what they like, rather than what is healthy. Like you, I believe we must go back to basics on the whole diet approach. Reducing our fat intake just isn’t enough.

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