The diet reduces your chances of a premature death by as much as 37 per cent, while the drug lowers the risk by 18 per cent.
People who follow the diet every day are the least likely to die prematurely from their heart problem, a major new study has discovered. It’s one of the first to test the protective effects of the diet on people who have a chronic heart problem; most others have looked at the benefits among healthy people.
In the new study, researchers from the IRCCS Neuromed Institute in Pozzilli, Italy monitored the health of 1,197 people with cardiovascular disease. During the seven years of the study, 208 people died, but those who closely followed the diet were 37 per cent less likely to die prematurely from any cause than someone who never, or rarely, ate it.
The biggest protective effects came from eating fresh vegetables, fish, fruits, nuts and monounsaturated fatty acids, or olive oil—in other words, the chief components of the Mediterranean diet, said lead researcher Prof Giovanni de Gaetano.
The results are part of the ongoing Moli-sani study, which involves more than 25,000 adults living in the Italian region of Molise.