According to a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil significantly reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack. The more than 7,000 participants in Spain were divided into three groups. Two groups were advised to follow a Mediterranean diet, which also encourages wine with meals and limits red meat, soft drinks and commercial baked goods. One of the Mediterranean diet groups was told to consume at least four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day. The other was told to eat 30 grams of nuts (walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts) every day. The control group was told to follow a low-fat diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, bread, pasta and fish. All participants could eat as much as they wanted and didn’t receive any exercise advice.
The group that consumed the extra virgin olive oil showed the greatest reduction of stroke and cardiovascular diseases at nearly 30%. To read the full story on the study in the New England Journal of Medicine, here. Additional detail available here.