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 a/c repair near me

    Hello there! I simply wish to offer you a big thumbs up for the great information you have got here on this post. I'll be coming back to your website for more soon.


    May 13, 2021 at 07:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Plumbing Los Angeles


    May 13, 2021 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. LbsoZisse

    cialis professional wikipedia http://ucialisdas.com/ cialis buy paypal

    May 13, 2021 at 09:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. semi truck polishing near me

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this site. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own, personal blog now 😉


    May 13, 2021 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. best auto body shop in orange county


    May 13, 2021 at 10:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. BbshMile

    how to enhance viagra effects http://loxviagra.com/ – sildenafil vs viagra sublingual viagra

    May 13, 2021 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Inspection Orange County

    Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a great article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and never seem to get anything done.


    May 13, 2021 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Plumbing Near Me

    Great article. I'm dealing with some of these issues as well..


    May 13, 2021 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. stornobrzinol

    Hello.This post was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this subject last week.


    May 13, 2021 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. rv water leak repair

    There is certainly a lot to know about this subject. I like all the points you made.


    May 13, 2021 at 17:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. rv fridge repair near me

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Very well written!


    May 13, 2021 at 18:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. camper trailer repair near me


    May 13, 2021 at 20:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RebfZisse

    cheapest cialis from india http://rcialisgl.com/ – cialis daily elily lowest price cialis

    May 13, 2021 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. semi truck shop near me

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn't fail me just as much as this one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I truly believed you would have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can fix if you weren't too busy searching for attention.


    May 14, 2021 at 04:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Wraps Orange County


    May 14, 2021 at 06:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RV Couches California


    May 14, 2021 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. GtnbCrulk

    viagra manufacturer https://jokviagra.com/ drugs like viagra

    May 14, 2021 at 07:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. GtnbCrulk

    what if viagra doesnt work http://jokviagra.com/ buy viagra without a doctor prescription

    May 14, 2021 at 08:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. rv remodeling companies near me

    There is definately a lot to find out about this subject. I really like all the points you have made.


    May 14, 2021 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. FmrfEncox

    cialis sex pill http://cialisee.com/ cialis for sale in canada

    May 14, 2021 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Driver Seats California

    I blog frequently and I seriously thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest. I will bookmark your site and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.


    May 14, 2021 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. sofa upholstery repair near me


    May 14, 2021 at 10:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. upholstery orange county


    May 14, 2021 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Maserati Logo Wallpapers

    You've made some good points there. I looked on the net to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.


    May 14, 2021 at 23:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. homes for sale spirit lake idaho

    I needed to thank you for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff you post…


    May 15, 2021 at 00:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Computer Glasses

    I seriously love your blog.. Great colors & theme. Did you make this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my own personal website and would like to know where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Cheers!


    May 15, 2021 at 03:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. trailer repair places near me

    Can I just say what a comfort to uncover somebody who actually knows what they are discussing on the web. You definitely understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people should read this and understand this side of your story. I can't believe you aren't more popular given that you definitely possess the gift.


    May 15, 2021 at 06:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Eye Exam Phoenix

    I really love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you create this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my very own site and would like to know where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Many thanks!


    May 15, 2021 at 06:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Wrap Around Prescription Sunglasses


    May 15, 2021 at 06:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. mission hills collision center

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful article. Thanks for providing this information.


    May 15, 2021 at 08:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. FmrfEncox

    united pharmacy cialis http://cialisee.com/ – cialis black reviews buy cialis on line

    May 15, 2021 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. AnooEncox

    another pill like viagra http://llviagra.com/ monoxyde d'azote et viagra

    May 15, 2021 at 10:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Optical Near Me


    May 15, 2021 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Eye Doctor Near Me Now

    An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you ought to publish more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo subject but usually people don't discuss these issues. To the next! Many thanks!!


    May 15, 2021 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. BbshMile

    herb viagra https://loxviagra.com/ prices for viagra

    May 15, 2021 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Maserati Birdcage


    May 15, 2021 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RebfZisse

    cialis daily dose https://rcialisgl.com/ generic cialis from india safe

    May 15, 2021 at 23:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. avanafil

    avana 200 mg avanafil stendra dosage

    May 16, 2021 at 03:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Video Marketing Business

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been conducting a little research on this. And he actually ordered me breakfast due to the fact that I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this issue here on your web page.


    May 16, 2021 at 04:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. JebgEncox

    world pharmacy india Malegra FXT plus Malegra DXT plus

    May 16, 2021 at 05:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Persona Aika


    May 16, 2021 at 05:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Internet Marketing Services Near Me

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been conducting a little research on this. And he actually bought me lunch simply because I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this issue here on your site.


    May 16, 2021 at 06:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Digital Marketing Specialists


    May 16, 2021 at 06:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. aika online private server download

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


    May 16, 2021 at 06:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. combigan

    buy generic brimonidine brimonidine generic

    May 16, 2021 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. LebnEncox

    king pharmacy reddit canadian pharmacy brand viagra

    May 16, 2021 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Keystone Sprinter Tank Repair Leaking


    May 16, 2021 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. LebnEncox

    canadian mail order pharmacy https://xlnpharmacy.com/ pharmacy today

    May 16, 2021 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. 2003 Dodge Sprinter Repair

    This is the right website for everyone who wishes to understand this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a subject which has been discussed for many years. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!


    May 16, 2021 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Chevy Venture Van Repair


    May 16, 2021 at 17:26 | 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.