Post by Scott Hensley, Shots, NPR Health News
Pour on the olive oil in good conscience, and add some nuts while you're at it.
A careful test of the so-called Mediterranean diet involving more than 7,000 people at a high risk of having heart attacks and strokes found the diet reduced them when compared with a low-fat diet. A regular diet of Mediterranean cuisine also reduced the risk of dying.
The findings, published online by The New England Journal of Medicine, come from a study conducted right in the heart of Mediterranean country: Spain.
A group of men and women, ages 55 to 80 at the start of the study, were randomly assigned to a low-fat diet or one of two variations of the Mediterranean diet: one featuring a lot of extra-virgin olive oil (more than a quarter cup a day) and the other including lots of nuts (more than an ounce a day of walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts).