When it comes to maintaining a healthy heart, eating more in line with a Mediterranean diet may do you more good than a strictly low-fat one, according to a new review of studies.
Published in the American Journal of Medicine, the findings show that having a “whole diet approach” to eating — where one focuses on consuming more produce, fish and nuts — is more effective at preventing heart disease than one focused solely on decreasing dietary fat intake, and has a benefit “equal to or greater than the benefit observed in statin trials,” the researchers wrote in the study.
“Nearly all clinical trials in the 1960s, 70s and 80s compared usual diets to those characterized by low total fat, low saturated fat, low dietary cholesterol, and increased polyunsaturated fats,” study researcher Dr. James E. Dalen, M.D., MPH, of the Weil Foundation and the University of Arizona College of Medicine, said in a statement. “These diets did reduce cholesterol levels. However they did not reduce the incidence of myocardial infarction or coronary heart disease deaths.”