The Canadian Medical Association Journal released the results of a new study that suggests that the popular Mediterranean diet may reverse metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is used to describe factors that raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The conditions of metabolic syndrome include increased blood pressure, body fat around the waist,and high cholesterol. These conditions greatly increase the likelihood of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal did appear to prove that the Mediterranean diet reversed metabolic syndrome once a person has it; however, it did not appear any more successful than any other low-fat diet in preventing it from occurring.
The study included a trial of people between 55 and 80 years old who were at risk of heart disease, or who had metabolic syndrome. The trial was separated into three groups; one ate a Mediterranean diet that included extra-virgin olive oil, one ate a Mediterranean diet with nuts, the third ate a low fat diet. The groups were followed for nearly five years to watch how changes occurred over time.
The study concluded that the two groups who ate the Mediterranean diet were relatively successful at beating metabolic syndrome; 28% of those who ate the Mediterranean diet in fact, no longer met the criteria for metabolic syndrome after the trial finished. Both the Mediterranean groups had less belly fat and better blood glucose than people in the low fat group. However, the diet did not have any effect in preventing the syndrome, unlike the results of those on the low fat diet.
The conclusion is that although the Mediterranean diet is successful at reversing metabolic disease, it is not however, a cure for the disease. A low fat diet, like Nutrisystem, and exercise is the most effective way of preventing the disease all together.