The Mediterranean diet outperforms the low-fat diet for the prevention of cardiovascular disease

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According to new findings published in The Lancet.[1]

“In addition to medications and invasive interventional measures, lifestyle is a clear determinant of the incidence and recurrence of cardiovascular events,” wrote first author Javier Delgado-Lista, MD, of Reina Sofia University Hospital. in Spain, and his colleagues. “Among its components, diet is the most studied and supported factor. The composition of the optimal diet for cardiovascular prevention has evolved over the past decades.

Delgado-Lista et al. noted that low-fat diets and the Mediterranean diet have both gained attention in recent years for their ability to potentially prevent cardiovascular disease. To compare the two diets with each other, the group tracked data from 1,002 patients for a median follow-up period of seven years. Patients were recruited from October 2009 to February 2012. While 502 patients followed a Mediterranean diet, the remaining 500 patients followed a standard low-fat diet. The average age of the patients was just under 60 years old and 82.5% of the patients were men.

The study’s Mediterranean diet recommendations state that at least 35% of the patient’s calories should be fat, 15% protein and a maximum of 50% carbohydrates. The low-fat diet study recommendations stated that less than 30% should be total fat, 15% should be protein, and a minimum of 55% should be carbohydrates. For both diets, cholesterol was limited to 300 mg or less per day. No rules related to exercise or physical activity were included in the instructions shared with patients.

The authors had face-to-face visits with the patients every six months and held group sessions every three months. Phone calls also took place every two months, all to ensure that patients and dieticians maintained communication during the analysis.

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