It is commonly known that a clean diet, regular exercise and no smoking is the best combination for a healthy heart, When it comes to having a strong functioning heart one should consider that the heart is cardiac muscle, which means with exercise, (cardio) it gets stronger. The same as other skeletal muscle of the body a stronger muscle is more able to perform its function. One study performed at Harokopio University in Athens Greece is suggesting that the diet common in the Mediterranean can have strong health benefits, even more so than exercise. The study was done using adults age 18 to 89, opposed to the middle age population that most heart health studies partake. The individuals in the study reported their health each year for eleven years, and were surveyed on the diet and health traits. Overall the participants who stuck to a mostly Mediterranean style diet was 47% less likely to develop heart disease. The global connection this research could provide is the foods commonly enjoyed in the Mediterranean diet are foods that are common and easy to find in most areas. Oily fish, nuts, fruits and vegetables are a few that are mentioned, other typical foods include. With the ease of finding these foods at local markets this diet could give influence to a population here in the US that enriches it's diets with high sugar, saturated fats, and processed refined grains. Not suggesting a complete switch in diet styles, but by adapting to and creating a Mediterranean influenced diet more common in other areas of the world we can possibly lower the global amount of heart disease, as well as indirect benefits such as diabetes and hypertension. Should this diet style in fact be extremely helpful in combating heart disease, the common foods are already available to us in America, the challenge is to get the general population to enjoy them instead of the buckets of fried chicken and artificial burgers that the public eats everyday.
Alex Rogers, 3/6/15, 11:03 am