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November 22, 2011

Mediterranean diet affirmed as best for the heart

You may want to consider a Mediterranean Thanksgiving.

A new study from Johns Hopkins affirms that a diet made with unsaturated fat from avocados, olive oil and nuts improves heart health.

“The introduction of the right kind of fat into a healthy diet is another tool to reduce the risk of future heart disease,” said Dr. Meghana Gadgil, a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of General Internal Medicine in Hopkins School of Medicine who presented research at the American Heart Association’s scientific sessions in Orlando recently.

Gadgil and her colleagues looked at three balanced diets on 164 people with mild hypertension but no diabetes. They compared the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and maintain healthy insulin levels while on a Mediterranean diet, on a protein-rich diet and on a carbohydrate-rich diet. They kept everyone at their starting weight.

The unsaturated fats in the Mediterranean diet improved insulin use significantly more than the carb-heavy diet, which included white bread and pasta.

“A lot of studies have looked at how the body becomes better at using insulin when you lose weight,” Gadgil said. “We kept the weight stable so we could isolate the effects of the macronutrients. What we found is that you can begin to see a beneficial impact on heart health even before weight loss.”

Posted by Meredith Cohn at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.

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