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. rv repair near me

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn't fail me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I truly believed you'd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something that you could fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.


    June 11, 2021 at 08:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Alphonse Sivick

    I absolutely love your blog.. Great colors & theme. Did you create this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as Iím planning to create my own personal site and would love to learn where you got this from or what the theme is called. Many thanks!

    June 11, 2021 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Erick Bethell


    June 11, 2021 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. places near me

    Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to generate a really good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a whole lot and never seem to get anything done.


    June 11, 2021 at 17:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Jet Van Repair Shop

    Spot on with this write-up, I really feel this web site needs far more attention. Iíll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the info!


    June 11, 2021 at 22:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV AC Near Me

    There is definately a great deal to know about this issue. I like all the points you've made.


    June 11, 2021 at 22:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Dodge Sprinter Repair

    This page certainly has all the information I needed about this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 11, 2021 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Approved Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    I was able to find good advice from your content.


    June 12, 2021 at 00:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. stake center near me

    This is a very good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise infoÖ Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!


    June 12, 2021 at 00:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. MileSwa

    generis cialis online overnight delivery cialis tablets for sell cialis 20 mg tablets and prices

    June 12, 2021 at 08:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Zisseloh

    viagra cialis how long does cialis take to work how does cialis work for bph

    June 12, 2021 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. travel trailers for sale in orange county ca

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. There's no doubt that that you need to write more about this subject, it may not be a taboo subject but usually people don't speak about these topics. To the next! Cheers!!


    June 12, 2021 at 08:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. City Bus Repair


    June 12, 2021 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 2500 Sprinter Van Repair

    I quite like looking through an article that will make people think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!


    June 12, 2021 at 10:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Dodge Sprinter Repair Service


    June 12, 2021 at 10:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. EncoxAni

    canadian-pharmacy-24h.com walmart pharmacy price check viagra online canadian pharmacy reviews

    June 12, 2021 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. cbd near me


    June 12, 2021 at 18:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. winn dixie near me

    Excellent blog you have got here.. Itís difficult to find excellent writing like yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    June 12, 2021 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. lawn mower repair near me


    June 12, 2021 at 19:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. EncoxHtf

    cialis coupon code cialis generika cialis netherlands

    June 12, 2021 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. mall near me

    I want to to thank you for this very good read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I've got you book-marked to check out new stuff you postÖ


    June 12, 2021 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. dominos pizza near me

    Hi, I believe your web site could be having browser compatibility issues. Whenever I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Apart from that, great website!


    June 12, 2021 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. eye doctors near me

    You have made some decent points there. I checked on the net for additional information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.


    June 13, 2021 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. cigars near me


    June 13, 2021 at 00:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. storage near me

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to revisit once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.


    June 13, 2021 at 00:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. restaurants near me open now


    June 13, 2021 at 01:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. verizon stores near me

    I was more than happy to find this site. I need to to thank you for ones time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely liked every little bit of it and I have you book marked to check out new information on your site.


    June 13, 2021 at 02:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. bowling alley near me


    June 13, 2021 at 02:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. CrulkAsd

    professional cialis buy cialis brand cialis price

    June 13, 2021 at 03:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. EncoxDev

    what does rx stand for in pharmacy citizens rx pharmacy humana rx pharmacy

    June 13, 2021 at 03:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. CrulkAsd

    cialis great price cialis male enhancement viagra vs cialis

    June 13, 2021 at 03:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. dsw near me

    This page truly has all the information I needed concerning this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 13, 2021 at 03:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. EncoxDev

    canada drugs online pharmacy canadian association of pharmacy students and interns cvs caremark online pharmacy

    June 13, 2021 at 04:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. rental cars near me

    Next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not fail me just as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I genuinely believed you'd have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you could possibly fix if you weren't too busy seeking attention.


    June 13, 2021 at 07:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. puppies for sale near me

    I really love your website.. Great colors & theme. Did you develop this site yourself? Please reply back as Iím hoping to create my very own site and would love to learn where you got this from or what the theme is called. Kudos!


    June 13, 2021 at 08:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. lowes near me


    June 13, 2021 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. EncoxGtv

    Actos canadian pharmacy testosterone cypionate uk pharmacy

    June 13, 2021 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. apartments near me

    I was able to find good info from your articles.


    June 13, 2021 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. best chinese food near me


    June 13, 2021 at 12:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. MileSwa

    dapoxetin,cialis cialis 20mg usa cialis in canada pharmacy

    June 13, 2021 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. toilet paper near me

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It's the little changes that make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!


    June 13, 2021 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. car rental near me


    June 13, 2021 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. poke near me


    June 13, 2021 at 18:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. recycling center near me


    June 13, 2021 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Zisseloh

    levitra vs cialis cialis pastilla cialis vs.viagra reviews

    June 13, 2021 at 18:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. burger places near me


    June 13, 2021 at 19:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. gun shows near me


    June 13, 2021 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. cheapest gas near me

    You've made some good points there. I checked on the internet for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.


    June 13, 2021 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. outlet mall near me


    June 13, 2021 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. meijer near me

    Good day! I could have sworn Iíve visited this website before but after going through some of the posts I realized itís new to me. Anyhow, Iím certainly pleased I discovered it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!


    June 13, 2021 at 23:13 | 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 fiberglass repair shops


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.