Heart Disease Risk Reduction: More Olive Oil and Nuts!
A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine explored the Mediterranean diet and its effects on heart disease risk. The study focused on Mediterranean diet and two of its major components: extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) and nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds).
The 7,447 participants aged 55 to 80 were already at a high risk for heart disease due to other disabling conditions such as diabetes, or had unhealthy lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, or high blood pressure. There were three groups established, two on the Mediterranean diet with one consuming approximately four cups of EVOO weekly and the other consuming an extra daily ounce of nuts, and the last group (control) followed a low-fat diet.
At the end of the five-year study, both Mediterranean diet groups reported 30 percent fewer cardiac episodes such as heart attack and stroke.
So what’s in EVOO and these nuts that make them so heart-healthy? For EVOO it’s monosaturated fatty acids, a good fat in the nutrition world. This good fat may help reduce heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. They are also believed to help normalize blood clotting and may even help with blood sugar control and diabetes management.
As for nuts, the three used in the study – walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts – are all full of those good fats (unsaturated) as well as Omega-3 fatty acids. Plus they’ve got fiber and plant sterols which help lower cholesterol – and they protect your arteries with vitamin E and L-arginine.
Healthy Eating is a Helpful Even after Suffering a Disabling Condition
If you’ve already been diagnosed with a disabling condition such as heart disease it’s never too late to improve your diet! Healthy eating habits may help improve your quality of life and reduce the risk of other ailments that may arise from existing disabilities. Talk to your doctor about healthy eating and before starting any diet to ensure it is safe to do so.
If you suffer from heart disease, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Contact the Disability Help Group to begin your claim. Call today – 1-(800)-800-3332.