Mediterranean diet, nuts can reduce obesity, high cholesterol

By • Published: February 5th, 2009
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Worried about those pounds you packed on this winter? Think Squirrel. Better yet, think Greek Squirrel. Climb trees, build nests and horde nuts. OK, skip the nest and the tree, but keep the nuts. Throw some vegetables and olive oil in while you’re at it.

A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that a Mediterranean diet coupled with a daily dose of nuts may help curb metabolic conditions such as obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure in older adults at risk for heart problems.

A team of Spanish researchers studied twelve-hundred adults between fifty-five and eighty, placing them in three different groups… a control group on a traditional low-fat diet, a group on the Mediterranean diet with added nuts and a group on the Mediterranean diet with extra olive oil. Eating Mediterranean style means going heavy on the fruits, veggies, bread, beans and olive oil and easy on the meats and sweets.

Nearly two-thirds of study participants had what’s known as metabolic syndrome, a condition characterized by a thick middle and problems such as high cholesterol. No one lost weight during the study, but the number of participants with metabolic syndrome symptoms decreased by almost fourteen percent among nut-eating Mediterranean dieters. There were only two percent fewer people with metabolic syndrome in the control group.

More studies need to be completed, but for now it seems like a safe bet to follow in the pawsteps of the squirrel, and go nuts.