According to a review article published in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, a Mediterranean lifestyle characterised by a high intake of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), fiber, legumes, dairy and fish along with moderate alcohol intake and better quality sleep can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the US and is attributed mainly to the elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood after meals, known as postprandial lipemia (PPL), which causes the arteries to harden.
The authors of the article reviewed existing research on the Mediterranean lifestyle and found that some of its features have a positive impact of cardiovascular health.
"It seems that most components of the Mediterranean lifestyle may reduce PPL, an important CVD risk factor, with the exception of wine. Although olive oil is a main component of this pattern, preliminary results of studies of several other components -- such as fish, legumes, herbs and physical activity -- are very promising," the researchers wrote. "Studies are needed in order to investigate whether the effect of the Mediterranean lifestyle and its components on PPL mediate the overall well-established protective role of this lifestyle."
Source: American Physiological Society (APS)
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