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Friday 28th October 2016

Low fat diets help heart

2nd March 2010

The Mediterranean diet, diets low in fat, and diets low in carbohydrates are all equally heart-healthy, according to new Israeli research.


The researchers defined 'Mediterranean diet' to mean a diet based on fruits and vegetables, and which used olive oil almost to the exclusion of any other fats.

Study author Iris Shai, a nutritional epidemiologist at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, said that people who stuck to sensible diets could reverse the progress of heart disease.

She said that dieting caused reduced chances of atherosclerosis, even when it did not cause people to lose weight.

Atherosclerosis happens when people's blood vessels respond to the buildup of fatty materials.

The way the body reacts to the syndrome causes chronic inflammation and eventually heart attacks or strokes.

For the purposes of the study, the researchers considered the effects of dieting on 140 people over a two-year span.

All of the participants were overweight, and all of them were between the ages of 40 and 65.

The researchers said that, after two years, all three kinds of dieting they considered caused a 5% change to harmful plaques in the heart.

Shai said that it was interesting to see similar effects from all of the diets the team studied.

She said that, while some people suggested that low-carbohydrate diets were more likely to clog arteries, she believed this was not the case.

The researchers used three-dimensional imaging to measure the artery volume of their subjects.

Charles Knight, British Cardiovascular Society secretary, said that the study added to a growing body of research, and that people did not need pills in order to reduce the buildup of plaques.

However, he said that dieting was not a 'magic bullet' for arterial health.


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