The results are in … the Mediterranean diet has been shown, rather forcefully, to produce better heart outcomes in at-risk individuals than a very strict low-fat diet.
Specifically, an unrestricted diet featuring quite a large amount of olive oil and nuts per week, beats a very low fat diet.
Have to read this with a rather large grain of salt, comparing only what the study compared — good fats vs. no fat. Good fats produced better results than non-fat, even with quantities of olive oil and nuts that’s beyond what you’re likely going to eat yourself — approaching 25% of your total intake calories. That in itself is remarkable, and may signal the end of the Ornish style of fat avoidance.
Interestingly enough, the fat-avoidance plan had already been found to be much better as far as heart outcomes than a typical American diet.
There are related studies coming out this week too — eating a Mediterranean diet costs a little more than the typical American weekly food spend. But only $3 or so, and again, take that with a grain of salt, because they’re just calculating the cost of supplementing your regular diet with a liter of olive oil and a half pound of nuts a week.
Is it more expensive? Maybe, but you’ll make that up in avoided trips to your favorite unhealthy food outlets. Is it better? YES.