Researchers publishing in the journal BMC Medicine have reported that, in their study, greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with lower cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality.
Dr Ian Johnson, Nutrition researcher and Emeritus Fellow at the Institute of Food Research, said:
“This is a careful and rigorous study showing a relatively small but potentially important association between higher adherence to a Mediterranean style diet and reduced risk of incident heart disease, and death from heart disease. It is consistent with previous studies, and its importance lies in its application to a British population.
“Studies of this type can’t prove a causal link or show which aspects of the diet, such as low consumption of saturated fat, higher consumption of vegetables and grains, or high consumption of olive oil, are most important. However that is probably the wrong question. It seems likely that the various components of this dietary pattern complement each other, but that is a matter for further research. In any case a shift toward the Mediterranean diet seems to be a safe and prudent option to reduce the risk of heart disease in the UK.”
‘Prospective association of the Mediterranean diet with cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality and its population impact in a non-Mediterranean population: the EPIC-Norfolk study’ by Tammy Tong et al. published in BMC Medicine on Thursday 29th September.