According to Dr. Elliot M. Berry of Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem and Dr. Ram B. Singh of the Medical Hospital and Research Centre, Moradabad/India, the word is out that a Mediterranean diet with walnuts and almonds, fruits and vegetables can safe lives and prevent heart attacks.
In a paper, published in the medical journal Lancet 2002;360:1455-1461, 1000 Asian patients with a high risk for heart disease and strokes were put on two diets: a “control” heart smart diet and the experimental diet,which consisted of the Mediterranean diet.
Surprisingly,not only did the high risk patients benefit from the Mediterranean diet, but also the control group that had already been on a healthy heart smart diet. Over 2 years the heart attack
rates, death rates and heart disease event rates were all roughly cut into half on the Mediterranean diet. Cholesterol levels were significantly reduced,as much as would have been achieved with expensive cholesterol lowering medications. According to Dr.Berry the key to the understanding of this is found in the alpha-linoleic acid found in nuts and almonds. It is a precursor of the omega-3-fatty acids also found in fish oil, which in turn lower cholesterol, prevent blood clotting and are a natural remedy to prevent inflammation in the body.
Further investigations will be done by the research team to understand the mechanism of action of the healthy Mediterranean diet. In the meantime Dr. Berry stressed that other lifestyle changes must accompany the Mediterranean diet, namely an active exercise program and regular relaxation exercises such as yoga.
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Last edited October 25, 2014