Already renowned for lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease among older people, the Mediterranean diet appears to help young, working adults as well.
Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health found that the diet helped a large group of Midwestern firefighters lower their risk factors for cardiovascular disease. U.S. firefighters are known to have a high prevalence of obesity and heart disease risk factors, according to a news release from Harvard School of Public Health.
“Our study adds more evidence showing the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, even after adjusting for exercise and body weight,” said Stefanos Kales, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health at HSPH.
Researchers studied medical and lifestyle data for 780 male firefighters who live in the Midwest. Those who adhered the most to the Mediterranean-style diet showed a 35 percent lower risk in metabolic syndrome – a condition with risk factors that include a large waistline, high triglyceride level, low level of “good” cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. These firefighters also had a 43 percent lower risk of weight gain compared to those who didn’t stick to the Mediterranean-style diet.
Additionally, obese firefighters drank sugary drinks and ate fast food more often than others.
“The study shows that promoting Mediterranean-style diets could have significant health benefits for young, working populations,” the news release states.
Source: Harvard School of Public Health news release
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