The Mediterranean diet has long been said to have significant health benefits. Finally, a long term study has been performed which demonstrates these benefits.
The Mediterranean diet includes moderate fish and poultry; avoidance or a low intake of red meat and dairy products, high intake of olive oil, fruit, nuts, vegetables, and cereals. Wine is encouraged in moderation. In this study the bonus was either more olive oil or 30 g of mixed nuts per day (15 g of walnuts, 7.5 g of hazelnuts, and 7.5 g of almonds).
Previous studies have indicated benefit from this diet. The latest study is a randomized trial which compares two different Mediterranean diets: one including extra-virgin olive oil and another with nuts, in comparison with a low-fat diet.
The results were so good that the study was declared finished early. 3 major cardiovascular events were prevented per 1,000 person-years. Or 1 per 333 people/years or one more way to look at it: “relative risk reduction of approximately 30%, among high-risk persons who were initially free of cardiovascular disease.”