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Mediterranean diet can slash women’s chances of dying by this much

The diet is rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, fish and extra virgin olive oil.

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(Edgar Castrejon via Pexels)

By Alice Clifford via SWNS

Following the Mediterranean diet can slash a woman's chance of dying of any cause by nearly a quarter, a new study reveals.

It lowers the risk of coronary heart disease by 25 percent and cardiovascular disease by 24 percent.

The popular diet also lowered the risk of stroke overall and the risk of dying of any cause by 23 percent.

The diet is rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, fish and extra virgin olive oil.

These foods contain many healthy components, including polyphenols, nitrates, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.

Sticking to the diet also significantly lowers a person’s intake of heart-damaging saturated fats such as butter, dairy and red meats.

Researchers trawled through various studies to find the impact of the Mediterranean diet on women’s cardiovascular health and risk of death.

They studied 16 reports published between 2003 and 2021.

(Ella Olsson via Pexels)

The studies, mainly from the US and Europe, involved more than 700,000 women aged 18 and above.

Their cardiovascular health was monitored for an average of 12.5 years.

The reason why this diet is particularly beneficial for women is unknown.

The study author, Dr. Sarah Zaman, from Westmead Applied Research Centre and Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney, Australia, said: “Mechanisms explaining the sex-specific effect of the Mediterranean diet on cardiovascular disease and death remain unclear.

“Female-specific cardiovascular risk factors, including premature menopause, pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes, or female predominant risk factors, such as systemic lupus, can all independently increase cardiovascular disease risk.

“It is possible that preventative measures, such as a Mediterranean diet, that targets inflammation and cardiovascular disease risk factors, impose differing effects in women compared with men.”

(Louis Hansel via Unsplash)

Cardiovascular disease accounts for more than a third of all deaths in women around the world.

However, many clinical trials and research include relatively few women and do not often report results by sex.

The current guidelines on how to best lower cardiovascular disease also do not differentiate by gender.

This latest study calls for more sex-specific research to help guide clinical practice in heart health.

This study was published in the journal Heart.

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