A new study from Harokopio University of Athens claims to have found the scientific evidence for the food and health benefits contained within the Mediterranean diet.
The Research – published in the Journal of American Cardiology – studied a population of around half a million subjects in the Mediterranean region, in the process observing their dietary habits which include high consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, low fat dairy products and monounsaturated fatty acids.
The results found that these consumption patterns had beneficial effects not only regarding metabolic syndrome, but also on its individual components including waist circumference, HDL-cholesterol levels, triglycerides levels, blood pressure levels and glucose metabolism.
Commenting on the research findings, lead investigator, Demosthenes Panagiotakos, said: "The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome is increasing rapidly throughout the world, in parallel with the increasing incidence of diabetes and obesity, and is now considered a major public health problem."
"Additionally, the metabolic syndrome is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease (directly or indirectly), associated with personal and socio-economic burdens. As a result, prevention of this condition is of considerable importance."