Mediterranean diet cuts heart, diabetes risk factors
March 7th, 2011
04:17 PM ET

Mediterranean diet cuts heart, diabetes risk factors

By now, you've probably heard all the buzz about the Mediterranean diet, or perhaps you've tried it. Aside from helping to prevent the metabolic syndrome– a cluster of risk factors for heart disease and diabetes- a new study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology says, the diet can have positive global effects on the individual risk factors: low HDL ("good") cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure and a high blood sugar rate, as seen by your doctor through a blood test. In addition, waist size is a risk factor- a waist more than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men is of concern.

The syndrome is present when someone has three of those five risk factors.

"[The study is] one of the first studies that evaluated the role of Mediterranean diet on metabolic syndrome, and revealed a beneficial association- quite a big influence, taking into account that the Mediterranean diet is a non-pharmacological mean," said study author Demosthenes Panagiotakos, from the Department of Science of Dietetics-Nutrition at Harokopio University of Athens in Greece.

Take this test to see how well you're managing your diabetes

The researchers looked at over half a million people from 50 previous studies on the Mediterranean diet, which included people in Spain, Greece, the U.S., France, Sweden, Italy and Australia, among other countries.

They found the beneficial effects from diets rich in fruits and vegetables, olives and olive oil, low-fat dairy products and whole grain cereals. Other components included: a moderate daily intake of alcohol with meals- mostly from red wine; eating fish, poultry or tree nuts (like walnuts or cashews) weekly; and limiting eating red meat to about twice a month. The researchers say what's responsible are the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Panagiotakos added that the diet includes all main food groups, but in a balanced way. The study notes physical activity is also an important part in preventing the risk factors for the metabolic syndrome.

Tips for managing your diabetes

The Mediterranean diet isn't just a little extra olive oil, noted Dr. Robert Eckel, an endocrinologist and past president of the American Heart Association.

"It's all these other components," Eckel said.

"I think the health professional needs to recognize that people that meet the criteria for the metabolic syndrome are at higher risk [for heart disease and diabetes] and we strongly recommend that lifestyle intervention is used to prevent the syndrome and also to modify its prevalence," he said.

According to the American Heart Association, data from 2003-2006 shows a third of adults age 20 and older met that criteria. And just a few years earlier, over 9 percent of adolescents ages 12-19 were classified as having the syndrome. That translates into 2.9 million young people.

But it's not only in the U.S.

"This is a global epidemic," Eckel emphasized. "This is not simply America. It's occurring throughout Mexico, Central and South America, Southeast Asia, Australia and around the world."

Eckel said obesity is by far the largest issue responsible for the metabolic syndrome. According to the World Health Organization's 2008 figures, at least one in three of the world's adult population is overweight, and almost one in 10 people is obese. For children, the numbers are also sobering: 20 million kids under age 5 are overweight.

Panagiotakos concludes that this pattern of eating can be easily adopted by people of various cultures and populations.

"The macro-environment we are living promotes obesity in all age groups of people... the choice of a healthy diet, like the Mediterranean diet, is on our hands. Better eating (from childhood to older life) contributes to better quality of life," he said.

soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Sabine Bellish

    Ondozabal es un grupo de empresas de ingeniería y mecánica industrial, que consta de tres plantas productivas: la primera de ellas en Orio, enfocada a mecanizado general para series cortas-medias, la segunda planta en Aduna especializada en grandes mecanizados y series largas, y una tercera unidad en Orio especializada exclusivamente en calderería.


    December 21, 2020 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Yan Fucillo

    Discover the best tricks to shedding lbs . and trying to keep them off for good.. No tablets or "magic" potions, just a sensible diet plan that will have you in the very best condition of your life...


    December 25, 2020 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Johnna Pitek

    1. Lack of exercise - a Sedentary lifestyle in which you aren't getting the results of having sexual activity each and every day, or a different exercise, can have adverse effects of your health and might cause you to die sooner. Abdominal fat buildup can lead to other negative health consequences like type 2 diabetes and other ailments that were proven, if not cared for, to lessen quthe qualitynd longevity of life. 2. Insufficient Social connections- Whenever you are having sex every day, you are either maintaining a connection or attempting to establish one. In any event you're forming or develop a social relationship that may lead to a longer life, or briefer life without them. 3. Stress – this terrible Affliction may be the result of not having relationships or not needing interest in building those sexual relationships. Sometimes depression is a lack of any attention in any respect. Keep things exciting, start searching for sex, making the connections and appreciating this brief amount of time that we are here, you will live longer also. 4. Isolation- Isolating Oneself from potential sexual partners has been attributed to a shorter Less joyful lifestyle. Being in a sexual relationship or seeking sexual relationships Has been attributed having a happier, more fulfilled and more life. http://www.congreso-hidalgo.gob.mx/urls/43t


    December 29, 2020 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Irvin Nuno

    I've really noticed that credit restoration activity ought to be conducted with tactics. If not, you will probably find yourself destroying your rank. In order to realize your aspirations in fixing your credit history you have to confirm that from this time you pay your entire monthly expenses promptly before their booked date. It is really significant since by not accomplishing this, all other measures that you will decide to use to improve your credit rating will not be helpful. Thanks for expressing your ideas.


    January 7, 2021 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. FwsxEncox

    drugstore cowboy online pharmacy drugstore ed medications

    January 10, 2021 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. JtmfEncox

    people's pharmacy canada online pharmacy ed

    January 10, 2021 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. JlloCrulk

    cheap viagra online canadian pharmacy uk pharmacy erectile dysfunction treatment

    January 12, 2021 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. KhthMile

    pharmacies near me erectile dysfunction medications mexican pharmacy

    January 12, 2021 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. FgvdZisse

    canadian pharmacy online best drug store foundation best drugstore bb cream

    January 12, 2021 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. LokuEncox

    pharmacy rx canada drugs tops pharmacy

    January 13, 2021 at 01:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. JvcxCrulk

    order viagra thru paypal account kaiser viagra prescription viagra soft i need buy viagra in sydney sale viagra viagras forsale is perscription needed for viagra actual prescription cost of viagra buy viagra quick trial size viagra overnight viagra no perscription buy viagra next day delivery super viagra online viagra surgery where to purchace generic viagra

    January 16, 2021 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. FgnhZisse

    buy viagra online mastercard how to get prescribed viagra where to buy viagra in canada viagra tablets from australia generic viagra to buy viagraaustralia viagraaustralia cutting viagra in half get viagra ireland viagra no prescrition where do you buy viagra in melbourne viagra who accept mastercard who manufactures viagra viagra prolonged viagra in australia

    January 17, 2021 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. zortilo nrel

    I see something really special in this website.


    January 17, 2021 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. KlioMile

    best prices on viagra how much generic viagra costs without insurance buy viagra generic online buy viagra in melbourne buy viagra online overnight shipping boots viagra what is the best viagra alternative viagra super active overnightpharmacy4u brand viagra buy viagra in nyc viagra buy online viagra off patent viagra with depoxatine overnight shipping vid shop viagra generic viagra overnight shipping

    January 17, 2021 at 21:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. froleprotrem

    I truly appreciate this post. I have been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thanks again


    January 18, 2021 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Dorinda Mestemacher

    Nuestras reparaciones en Madrid Centro están garantizadas por escrito en los materiales empleados como en la mano de obra. Vendemos maquinaria de jardinería y recambios y accesorios de lo que reparamos y de gama blanca (lavadoras, lavavajillas, frigoríficos, cocinas, etc...) según marcas. Nuestra empresa lleva dedicada al mundo de la reparación de electrodomésticos Aspes desde hace mas de 15 años, tiempo en el que nos hemos podido especializar en esta marca de electrodomésticos, calderas y aparatos de aire acondicionado en Madrid. Para localizar los artículos directamente relacionados con éste, clica aquí debajo, en el recuadro azul y podrás ver toda la serie.


    January 19, 2021 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. JbdcEncox

    pfizer viagra online viagra samples sellers of viagra http://llviabest.com/ – viagra south africa ’

    January 20, 2021 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. froleprotrem

    I do not even know how I finished up here, but I thought this put up was once great. I don't know who you're however certainly you're going to a well-known blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!


    January 21, 2021 at 09:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. JvcbxCrulk

    i need cialis overnight free samples viagra cialis cialis kidney function http://phrcialiled.com/ – cialis no perscription overnight delivery ’

    January 21, 2021 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. AqbvEncox

    overnight united states viagra viagra australia prescription viagra online canada http://acialaarx.com/ – buy viagra in canadГЎ ’

    January 21, 2021 at 23:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. FbdhZisse

    5mg cialis generic cialis do have to have a prescription for cialis? http://21cialismen.com/ – cialis with diapoxetine ’

    January 22, 2021 at 01:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. KbctMile

    generic cialis cialis au cialis black http://mycialedst.com/ – buy cialis online in new zealand ’

    January 22, 2021 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. LcxEncox

    viagra from canada paypal free viagra samples canada buy brand viagra online http://genqpviag.com/ – cialis vs viagra ’

    January 22, 2021 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. NlbxZisse

    cheap cialis uk cialis and dapoxetime tabs in usa original cialis online http://cialijomen.com/ – cialis prescription online ’

    January 22, 2021 at 19:14 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2

Leave a Reply to Sandy


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.