Women's Heart Advisor January 2009 Issue

Mediterranean Diet May Be Best For Women with Heart Disease

High in taste and low in fat, it is also easy to follow.

If you have cardiovascular disease or insulin resistance, the Mediterranean diet may satisfy your desire for food that is both heart-healthy and tasty. A study found that women lost more weight and had better glycemic control on the Mediterranean diet than on a low-carbohydrate or low-fat diet (New England Journal of Medicine, July 17, 2008). Other studies concluded the Mediterranean diet may prevent the development of several serious diseases. These findings delighted dietitians, who say the Mediterranean diet is healthier than a low-carbohydrate diet and easier to follow than a low-fat diet. "The Mediterranean diet is naturally low in fat and high in taste, which makes it a good choice for a long-term lifestyle change," says Cleveland Clinic dietitian Melissa Ohlson, MS, RD, LD. "Adherence to a low-fat diet over time is generally poor, because so many popular foods are forbidden that people feel deprived. Low-carb diets severely limit carbs, even healthy carbs like whole grains, fruits and veggies. Traditional low-carb diets are also high in saturated fats, and we know that diets high in animal fats are linked to coronary disease," she says.

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