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Will the Mediterranean diet lower my cholesterol?

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Cholesterol tests reveal that the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and heart-healthy fats, can lower the amount of low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol.

A recent study from the American Heart Association tested the effects of the diet on men who are genetically predisposed to have cardiovascular problems, and were shown to have low levels of high-density lipoproteins, or good cholesterol. Not all of the men lost weight, but regardless of what the scale said by the end of the study, they had all decreased their bad cholesterol by 9 percent.

"The Mediterranean-style diet, or MedDiet, may be recommended for effective management of the metabolic syndrome and its related risk of cardiovascular disease," said Caroline Richard, lead author of the study.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the MedDiet focuses on plant-based foods, heart-healthy fats in moderation - such as those found in olive oil - the use of spices and herbs as a replacement for salt, and an emphasis on lean white meat. The diet also encourages drinking a small amount of red wine.

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