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Mediterranean diet reduces cholesterol

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Previous studies have shown that a Mediterranean-style diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and fish can significantly reduce an individual's risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a collection of symptoms that increase the odds of diabetes and heart disease. Now, a new study reveals that the diet may help with individual aspects of metabolic function, including cholesterol test scores.

Researchers from Harokopio University of Athens analyzed the results of 50 previous studies that looked into the benefits of a Mediterranean diet. Unsurprisingly, they found that individuals who follow the diet have a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome. What researchers found surprising was the degree to which it addresses individual components of the condition.

Those who followed it had lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides, higher good cholesterol, healthier blood sugar readings and less abdominal fat, which is a known risk factor for diabetes and heart disease.

"Our results add to the existing knowledge, and further demonstrate the protective role and the significance that lifestyle factors, and mainly dietary habits, have when it comes to the development and progression of the metabolic syndrome," said Demosthenes Panagiotakos, who led the study.

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