Mediterranean Diet May Reduce Stroke Risk, So Break Out The Olive Oil

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The Mediterranean diet has become increasingly popular for weight loss, but new research suggests it could also reduce one’s risk of suffering a stroke.

The findings show people who closely followed the diet were significantly less likely to experience an ischemic stroke (caused by a blood clot) compared with those who had the lowest adherence to the diet, HealthDay reported.

The diet includes fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts, whole grains, fish, lean poultry and plenty of olive oil. It limits the consumption of red meats, dairy, sugar and saturated fats.

“Overall, there is strong evidence, based on this study, that strict adherence to a Mediterranean diet significantly reduces stroke risk,” Dr. Paul Wright, chair of neurology at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. told HealthDay. The researcher noted the study was not able to identify a solid cause-and-effect relationship between the diet and a reduced stroke risk.

To make their findings the researchers looked at data from more than 104,000 teachers in California, with an average age of 52 years. These participants were split into five groups based on how closely they followed the Mediterranean diet.

“[The study accounted for] other factors that would reduce stroke risks, such as exercise, total caloric intake,body mass index, smoking and menopausal/hormonal status,” Wright said.

The findings were to be presented Thursday at the American Stroke Association’s annual meeting in Nashville. The study was led by Dr. Ayesha Sherzai, a neurologist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. The researchers noted there was no observed link between following a Mediterranean diet and a reduced risk of a bleeding (hemorrhagic) stroke.

Article By Rebekah Marcarelli, a href=””>source

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