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A better diet

Here’s some food for thought: If you’re considering changing your diet, look at the Mediterranean Diet. It might just prove to be the right one for a healthier life.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, a five-year study based on this particular diet — one heavy on olive oil, nuts and fish — helps significantly reduce the risk of major cardiovascular problems. How much? How about 30 percent?

The study, conducted in Spain, involved 7,447 participants between the ages of 55 and 80. While those taking part in the study had no history of heart disease, they were at risk because of diabetes, a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels or they were overweight or smokers. They were then divided at random into three groups and provided three different diets. The results were that the group on the Mediterranean Diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, was the group that benefited the most.

In addition to olive oil nuts and fish, meals include three servings of vegetables a day as well as two servings of fruits, peas and lentils. When it comes to meat, the preference is for white instead of red, while red wine, in moderation, was consumed.

Now, as one might expect, there were people who have since weighed in on what, in their thinking, was wrong with the study. One faction questioned the test group assigned a low-fat diet and whether it was following what was actually considered a low-fat diet.

We’re willing to take the criticism here with a grain of salt — as long as we watch the rest of our sodium intake!

The study does reinforce the facts that olive oil and nuts are beneficial to one’s diet. Combine all that with eating smart — as in balancing one’s diet — and it is a step toward a healthier life.

Why not take it?

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