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The Atlantic/GALIAT & Mediterranean Diets

Executive summary

* Inspired by last week's note about 'the Atlantic Diet', this week's note compares the Atlantic and Mediterranean diets.

* There are variations of the Atlantic diet (SEAD, Galicia Atlantic Diet etc.). There are many variations of the Mediterranean diet (MDS, modified MDS, MEDAS, Pyramid etc). Both are academic constructs, as opposed to what people actually eat in these regions. I illustrate why in this note.

* The main trial for the Atlantic diet was the GALIAT trial, which was registered in 2015. The main trial for the Mediterranean diet was PREDIMED, which started in 2003. The original trial results from GALIAT were published in 2021. The original trial results from PREDIMED were published in 2013, but have since been retracted and republished.

* The GALIAT and PREDIMED trials had similarities (both conducted in Spain, both more women than men, both family cluster randomised, both provided some foods to the intervention groups etc.). They had differences (PREDIMED recruited people at risk of cardiovascular disease, GALIAT studied healthy people, PREDIMED focused on event end points (deaths, heart attacks etc.), GALIAT focused on markers (cholesterol, glucose etc.)).

* I have challenged the results from both trials (and the methodology of PREDIMED).

* The GALIAT and PREDIMED diets – head to head – are very similar. If wider definitions of Mediterranean diets are allowed, they are virtually identical.

* If these ‘academic-construct diets’ have value, it is because they are both whole food diets. They both ignore the real benefit of the region – sunshine.


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