Does the Mediterranean diet prevent stroke?
BY ADRIANNA ZEC, MA
Lancaster General Health
Known for its heart and dietary benefits, the Mediterranean diet is being looked at by researchers to see if it has implications for stroke and other neurological diseases.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in plant foods, emphasizing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts combined with healthy fats, such as olive oil and canola oil. Red meats are limited to a few times a month and fish is recommended twice a week. The diet also uses herbs and spices, rather than salt, for flavor.
Recently, a study published in the Journal of American Cardiology showed the Mediterranean diet, traditionally served in places along the sea by that name, reduced the risk of “metabolic syndrome,” a cluster of conditions including obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, that often lead to heart disease or stroke.
Analyzing 50 academic papers, researchers at Greece’s Harokopio University found that those who follow the Mediterranean diet have a longer life expectancy and lower rates of the chronic diseases associated with metabolic syndrome. Previously, studies have linked the diet with a reduced risk of cardiovascular death and reduced incidences of cancer, cancer mortality, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.