7 Responses to “The Mediterranean Diet and heart disease”

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  1. avatar Peter Jensen says:

    A study done in 2008 reported in NEJM did compare all three ie Mediterranean, low carb (Atkins), and low fat. Mediterranean and low carb both had better CV disease risk marker improvements. Low carb had the best numbers but not yet statistically significant. Too small a study 322 participants. Also Nina Teicholz did a great breakdown of the Mediterranean diet in Big Fat Surprise which of course came out last year, after this post. She too revealed the huge corporate money behind the diet’s promotion.

    Despite all this, most physicians I know now are recommending “Mediterranean” diets based mainly on this study and when I talk about LCHF/Atkins they say it’s not proven safe for long term.


  2. Alex, I think the financial links explain the study being poorly designed around the fantasy diet. Surely the paper could have read “we are interested in getting people to eat more nuts and designed a study to see whether this could be made to seem desirable”. That would have been honest, with no need to insult the people of the Mediterranean.

  3. If you want to know about the real Med diet, ask someone who grew up there. Me. After WWII, when the island I grew up on was flattened by bombs and there was famine, all they had was bread, pasta, oil and sugar – imported and rationed until the 70s. Those who could went on to their usual meat/rabbit/fish/poultry diet, but those who stayed on the pasta, bread and sugar developed diabetes. Most people who thrived on salami (farm-made), homemade soft cheeses, wine, olives and olive oil stayed well.
    The cheapest foodstuffs to import in bulk stayed carb-rich, which did a generation in.
    The richer you were, the more likely to survive you were.
    Mind you, those who had access to black-market bully beef in tins (remember those key-openers?)and could stomach it, did even better.
    What am I getting at here? That carb-rich diets encourage diseases like diabetes and heart trouble, of which both my parents died – they were adolescents in the war, and ate grains… too many grains, and potatoes. When corn-oil margarine came in they were hoodwinked to think it was healthy. Yeah, right. If they had continued to put butter on steak, they’d still be alive today.

  4. avatar Ann Tat says:

    I would like to know more about how to lower LDL. My LDL 188.
    Thank you,

  5. avatar Peter Lawton says:

    This wasn’t a scientific study. This was damn near being a felony. Given the ‘3-score-years-and-ten’ life-span jingo, everyone was heading for the danger zone anyway. Just a nudge, and you’re gone!
    The poor blighters on the low-fat diet were lucky to survive at all. Imagine holding vegetables down to about 2 servings/wk”, but mounds of carbs/sugars (each at least 3 servings/day).

  6. avatar alex says:

    Actually, you’re wrong the study is an intervention study not cohort or epidemiological so it shows causation not association in regards to the type of diet. Also, relative risk is needed to be calculate risk reduction including the original risk from the control. You need to brush up on your knowledge of studies and nutritional knowledge. Also, your main criticisms of studies are always that the researchers are associated with food companies, this is the worst kind of critical appraisal ever, no scientist would ever use this as a point as it’s not critically evaluating the study itself. The results are not going to be significantly different just because of the researchers, it would be better to criticism the design of the study which would influence the results.

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