Another study has confirmed previous research pointing to the fact that incorporating the Mediterranean diet as a life style lowers the risk of heart disease. The study by the Harvard School of Public Health is the first to confirm this effect in a group of young working adults in a high stress field, (firefighters). The Mediterranean diet is rich in fish, nuts, vegetables and fruits and numerous studies have specified the healthy heart benefit.
The study examined the dietary habits from a group of 780 male firefighters in the Midwest. The results reflect that living the Mediterranean-style life style lowered the risk of metabolic syndrome by 35% and lowered weight gain by 43%. Metabolic syndrome is viewed as the precursor to a number of diseases and is associated with a number of risk factors that include a large waistline, high triglyceride level, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol level, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar.
“Our study adds more evidence showing the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, even after adjusting for exercise and body weight,” said Stefanos Kales, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health at HSPH and chief of occupational and environmental medicine at CHA.
Justin Yang, Andrea Farioli, Maria Korre, Stefanos N. Kales. Modified Mediterranean Diet Score and Cardiovascular Risk in a North American Working Population. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (2): e87539 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087539