CÓRDOBA, Spain- One clinical study discovered that the Mediterranean diet has more benefits than a low-fat diet for heart disease patients.

A team from Maimonides Biomedical Research Institute of Cordoba (IMIBIC), Queen Sofia University Hospital, and the University of Córdoba published a study in the journal PLOS Medicine.

The study included comparing the two different diets’ effects on the walls covering the arteries called the endothelium. It involved 1002 participants who were previous patients of acute myocardial infarction. They were monitored for a year.

50% of the participants were instructed to follow a Mediterranean diet, including eating vegetables and fruits daily, using much virgin olive oil, and having three servings of nuts, fish, and legumes a week. Moreover, they were advised to reduce meat intake, particularly red meat, and avoid add-on fats, like butter, margarine, and much sugar foods.

On the other hand, the other half of the participants was directed to have a low-fat diet, limiting all types of plant and animal fats and increasing the consumption of complex carbohydrates. The participants were also instructed to reduce red meat, avoid nut intakes, decrease consumption of sweets and pastries, and use low-fat dairy products.

Research Shows Mediterranean Diet for Heart Disease Patients

The vasodilation capacity of the participants’ arteries was analysed to determine the differences. It is necessary for the adaptation to various circumstances, like stressful situations or exercising. Also, the researchers evaluated the permanent endothelium damage degree. Then, they measured the arteries’ reparation ability through stem cells or endothelial progenitor.

The study’s result proved that the Mediterranean diet model produced better endothelial function. It means that the arteries of the participants from this group were more flexible in coping with various situations that needed more blood flow. Their endothelium’s capability to regenerate was improved, and the researchers detected a radical decrease in endothelium damage, including in participants with greater risk.

The Mediterranean diet was already proven to improve endothelial function in patients who have high cholesterol or are overweight. However, this recent study is the first to observe its effects on heart disease patients. It can help them decrease the risk of a heart attack.

If you are struggling with heart disease, then following a Mediterranean diet can be a good strategy to strengthen your heart health and avoid risks relating to your condition.