Statins vs. The Mediterranean Diet: Which is Better for Reducing Heart Disease Risk?
An Italian study finds cardiovascular disease patients who consumed this diet were 37 percent less likely to die than patients who didn’t. This effect trounces into the dust the 18 percent supposed reduced risk of death attributed to statins by a 2013 review. What is this eating plan that plummets the death risk without side effects?
The answer is the Mediterranean Diet, which is popular with the people of Southern Europe.
The Mediterranean Diet consists of large quantities of fruits and vegetables but also includes fatty fish, nuts, seeds, beans and olive oil. The diet usually involves low amounts of sugar, refined carbohydrates, red meat and processed food; however, people who follow it seldom count calories or try to reduce their fat intake.
As the Mediterranean diet provides omega-3 fats and a host of other nutrients the body needs, it has been tied to an array of impressive health benefits. Research has shown it decreases the risk of death from any cause as well as helps protect against chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
“The Mediterranean diet is widely recognized as one of the healthier nutrition habits in the world,” said Professor Giovanni de Gaetano, head of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention at the I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed Institute in Pozzilli, Italy.
“But so far research has focused on the general population, which is mainly composed of healthy people,” he added. “What happens to people who have already suffered from cardiovascular disease? Is the Mediterranean diet optimal for them too?”
Mediterranean Diet Slashed Risk of Death by 37 Percent for Heart Patients
In the study, scientists assessed the diet of 1,200 patients with cardiovascular disease and followed them for seven years. During this interval, 208 patients died. The results showed those whose eating plan adhered most closely to the ideal Mediterranean diet had a 37 percent lower risk of death than those whose diets were farthest from it.
Next, the researchers deepened their exploration into the effect of individual foods that comprise the Mediterranean diet. Vegetables had the most impact, followed by fatty fish, fruit and olive oil.
Experts: “Diet More Powerful Than Any Drug”
“First of all doctors should consider diet before drugs,” de Gaetano said. “It could allow patients to get the benefits of statins but without the side effects.” The findings were presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress. Based on the robust results, experts are proclaiming a healthy diet to be more powerful than any drug, reports The Guardian.
In general, the allopathic community has been slow to consider alternatives to prescription drugs for remediating cardiovascular disease as well as other maladies. As the body of research mounts revealing the value of a healthy diet, it is hoped that this may eventually become the first line of attack for illness. Statins come with many adverse effects, some of which are serious. Battling health problems with the Mediterranean diet comes with side benefits rather side effects.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.