Mediterranean diet

The best data on a diet that prevents recurrent CHD events are from the Lyon Diet Heart Study.51 This study found that the Mediterranean diet, rich in linolenic acid, reduced cardiovascular events in patients who had survived their first heart attack.51 In the study, the treatment group was advised to eat more bread, more vegetables, more fruit, more fish, and less meat, and to replace butter and cream with canola (rapeseed) oil margarine. The treatment group also ate 50% more fruit than the usual care group. The trial was stopped after 27 months because of a 70% relative risk reduction in death in the intervention group. The effect remained significant at 46 months of follow-up.51

The components of the Mediterranean diet include cold-water fish (salmon and halibut), olive oil, low glycemic carbohydrates, plenty of fruits, vegetables (onion and garlic), and nuts, and small amounts of red wine (quercetin), which amounts to a diet composed of 20-25% protein, 30-35% healthy fats, and 45-50% carbohydrates.52

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