• Help Reverse Metabolic Syndrome With Mediterranean Diet, Olive Oil And Nuts

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    For people with metabolic syndrome, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts may help reverse the condition, indicate findings from a clinical trial.

    Eating a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil could help reverse symptoms which can lead to heart disease, research has revealed. A study found people who followed a diet of fruit, vegetables, fish and wholegrains, with either added olive oil or nuts, reduced their obesity and blood glucose levels – both symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Following a low-fat diet did not have the same effect. Metabolic syndrome affects a quarter of the world's adult population and is a combination of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity which puts patients at higher risk of heart disease and strokes.

    Spanish researchers analyzed data from the PREDIMED randomized controlled trial, which included men and women aged 55–80 years old at high risk of heart disease. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three diets: a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts or a low-fat diet as the control. In this secondary analysis, the research team looked at the long-term effects of the Mediterranean diet on metabolic syndrome in 5801 people. Almost 64% (3707) of the participants had metabolic syndrome at the start of the study.

    “In this large, multicentre, randomized clinical trial involving people with high cardiovascular risk, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil was associated with a smaller increase in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome compared with advice on following a low-fat diet,” writes Dr. Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Human Nutrition Unit, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universitat Rovira i Virgili and …

    It is thought the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of olive oil, nuts and the fruit and vegetables of the Mediterranean diet could help the body metabolise glucose and be a factor in lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes. But the research, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, also contradicted some previous studies by finding the diet failed to stop the onset of metabolic syndrome. The study stated: ‘Mediterranean diets supplemented with olive oil or nuts were not associated with a reduced incidence of metabolic syndrome compared with a low-fat diet; however, both diets were associated with a significant rate of reversion of metabolic syndrome.'

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