HEADLINES Published October14, 2014 By Staff Reporter

Metabolic Syndrome May Be Treated with a Mediterranean Diet

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mediterranean food
(Photo : Andrea Pavanello, Milano-Wikimedia Commons)

Today you'll come across different types of diet, and while they have their pluses and minuses, one turns out to be superior: the Mediterranean diet.

A study cites the huge benefits of this diet including reversing metabolic syndrome, a combination of several factors that increases your risk of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

People who are suffering from such syndrome usually have a large waist circumference caused by abdominal fat or central obesity. The fat that accumulates within this area is different from the other fat cells, especially since it's located near major organs such as the liver. Central obesity is commonly linked to increased risk in heart disorders.

They also have an elevated triglycerides and low healthy cholesterol (HDL). Moreover, they have increased blood pressure, which can build plaque around artery walls and cause heart damage, as well as blood sugar.

In the study, a group of researchers tapped almost 6,000 men and women between the ages of 55 and 80 years old and divided them into two groups: one group followed the Mediterranean diet, one that is rich in whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, lean meats, some wine, and fish. The other was in a low-fat diet. Those in the first group also received supplementation like nuts and extra virgin olive oil, which is a source of good fat.

After 5 years, they followed on these participants up. The results suggested that out of all those with metabolic syndrome at the start of the study, almost 30% of them experienced a reversal, which simply means they didn't anymore meet most of the criteria or factors associated with the syndrome.

Moreover, according to the researchers, since there's no major difference in weight loss or calories burned between the group, the dramatic change in health may be attributed to the diet.

Nevertheless, the diet may not prevent the onset of this metabolic syndrome, unlike the low-fat diet.

The results of the study are already published in CMAJ on Tuesday, October 14. 

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