The “Mediterranean lifestyle,” characterized by high intake of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), fiber, legumes, dairy, and fish; moderate alcohol intake; and more quality sleep, has a positive impact on cardiovascular health, study authors concluded. Findings from the review article are published in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Postprandial lipemia (PPL), or elevated triglycerides after meals, can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease by hardening the arteries. Many of the existing studies on Mediterranean lifestyle and PPL are limited and focus mostly on the amount and type of fat instead of the lifestyle as a whole. Researchers set out to examine the effects of the Mediterranean lifestyle specifically on PPL by reviewing studies in PubMed.
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In general, the study authors found that most of the “ingredients” of the Mediterranean lifestyle played a positive role in cardiovascular health except for wine. Lifestyle components such as fish, legumes, herbs, and physical activity showed positive effects on cardiovascular health.
More research is needed to determine short-term results and to study the effects of the whole Mediterranean lifestyle on PPL. Further, studies in non-healthy populations and the underlying mechanisms would be useful to individualize appropriate intervention, researchers concluded.
For more information visit ajpendo.physiology.org.