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 (998 Responses)
  1. xvideos t


    May 19, 2021 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. california coach towing orange


    May 19, 2021 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. LbsoZisse

    cialis super active real online store http://ucialisdas.com/ – black cialis cialis super active for cheap

    May 19, 2021 at 20:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Upholstery Riverside

    That is a good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise information… Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!


    May 19, 2021 at 20:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. LbsoZisse

    cialis buy online http://ucialisdas.com/ cialis south africa

    May 20, 2021 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Content Marketing Service

    You made some decent points there. I looked on the internet to find out more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.


    May 20, 2021 at 02:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. SEO Marketing Business


    May 20, 2021 at 03:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RebfZisse

    where to buy generic cialis http://rcialisgl.com/ – cialis without prescription cialis 20mg canada

    May 20, 2021 at 07:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Content Marketing Firm

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and also the rest of the website is really good.


    May 20, 2021 at 09:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. furniture restoration orange county

    That is a very good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate info… Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article!


    May 20, 2021 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. rv wraps before and after

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this article plus the rest of the website is also really good.


    May 20, 2021 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. rv service and repair near me

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Many thanks! Where are your contact details though?


    May 20, 2021 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV AC Los Angeles


    May 20, 2021 at 20:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Best Tucker Sprinter Repair


    May 21, 2021 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Supplies Orange County


    May 21, 2021 at 03:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. truck shop orange


    May 21, 2021 at 04:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. sound system repair near me

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post! It's the little changes which will make the largest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    May 21, 2021 at 05:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Storage California

    I blog quite often and I seriously thank you for your information. This article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your site and keep checking for new information about once per week. I opted in for your Feed as well.


    May 21, 2021 at 06:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. trailer shops near me

    After I initially commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same comment. Is there an easy method you can remove me from that service? Many thanks!


    May 21, 2021 at 06:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Diesel Sprinter Repair Service


    May 21, 2021 at 06:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. collision repair shop near me

    This blog was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something that helped me. Many thanks!


    May 21, 2021 at 08:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. JebgEncox

    online pharmacy australia free delivery https://pharmacylo.com/ canada pharmacy world

    May 21, 2021 at 16:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Windshield Orange County


    May 21, 2021 at 20:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Internet Marketing Experts

    I blog often and I seriously thank you for your content. The article has really peaked my interest. I will bookmark your website and keep checking for new details about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.


    May 21, 2021 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. paint repair shop near me


    May 21, 2021 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Collision Repair Near Me


    May 21, 2021 at 22:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RebfZisse

    20mg cialis https://rcialisgl.com/ cheap generic cialis

    May 21, 2021 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. LebnEncox

    best drugstore primer canadian pharmacy 1 internet online drugstore canadian drugstore online

    May 22, 2021 at 00:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. LebnEncox

    north drug store http://xlnpharmacy.com/ drug store news ce

    May 22, 2021 at 02:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. auto repair shop la palma

    You are so awesome! I don't think I've truly read through a single thing like this before. So great to find someone with a few original thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that is needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!


    May 22, 2021 at 03:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. motorhome shops near me

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the finest websites on the internet. I will highly recommend this site!


    May 22, 2021 at 03:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. AnooEncox

    viagra purposes http://llviagra.com/ comprar viagra pela internet

    May 22, 2021 at 04:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. BbshMile

    viagra pills online https://loxviagra.com/ cheap viagra for sale

    May 22, 2021 at 06:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. JebgEncox

    online pharmacy reviews https://pharmacylo.com/ Isoptin SR

    May 22, 2021 at 09:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. truck shop orange county california


    May 22, 2021 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. KOON

    Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?

    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website
    is excellent, let alone the content!

    May 22, 2021 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Roof Los Angeles


    May 22, 2021 at 18:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. GtnbCrulk

    viagra prices walmart https://jokviagra.com/ best viagra alternatives

    May 23, 2021 at 00:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. GtnbCrulk

    viagra headache http://jokviagra.com/ – sildenafil vs viagra difference between cialis and viagra

    May 23, 2021 at 01:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. bay door repair


    May 23, 2021 at 01:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Dashboard Near Me

    Right here is the perfect webpage for anybody who wishes to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic which has been written about for a long time. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!


    May 23, 2021 at 02:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. chloroquineorigin

    buy chloroquine phosphate tablets quineprox kratom chloroquine aralen hidroxicloroquina https://chloroquineorigin.com/ – chloroquine price in india

    May 23, 2021 at 05:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. BbshMile

    walgreens viagra http://loxviagra.com/ – viagra and blood pressure where to buy generic viagra

    May 23, 2021 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. orange near me

    It’s difficult to find well-informed people for this subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 24, 2021 at 04:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. FmrfEncox

    online farmacy cialis https://cialisee.com/ cialis bestellen deutschland

    May 24, 2021 at 07:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. tausAffessy

    https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ cost tadalafil generic https://tadalafilol.com/ – best price usa tadalafil cialis without prescription

    May 24, 2021 at 07:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Google Marketing Company

    Everything is very open with a precise clarification of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your website is very helpful. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 24, 2021 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Forklift Cylinders


    May 24, 2021 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Video Marketing Near Me


    May 24, 2021 at 23:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Internet Marketing Consultant

    Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to generate a superb article… but what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and don't manage to get nearly anything done.


    May 25, 2021 at 01:11 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Leave a Reply to Alonzo Hazelip


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.