Choosing a Mediterranean diet has long been linked to a bevy of health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and lower rates of cancer. But new research shows if you are going to mimic the eating habits of someone who hails from the region, you had better make sure they are rich and highly educated.
Mainstays of the Mediterranean diet include a high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts and unrefined cereals, as well as plenty of olive oil, moderate intake of fish, and low-to-moderate dairy, low red meat and poultry, and moderate wine consumption, according to a 2003 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
A new Italian study led by a team of researchers at IRCCS Neuromed looked at the dietary information of 18,991 southern Italian men and women over 35 between March 2005 and April 2010.
“Given a comparable adherence to this eating pattern, the study has shown that the reduction in cardiovascular risk is observed only in people with a higher educational level and/or greater household income. No actual benefits were observed for the less advantaged groups,” said the study’s authors in a release accompanying the study.
The cardiovascular disease findings are even more striking when high education, high income individuals are observed in isolation.
The study notes a two-point increase in the Mediterranean diet score drops cardiovascular disease risk by 57 per cent among those with post-secondary education, and 61 per cent for those in the highest category of household income.
Once again, no such relationship was observed among the less educated and less wealthy.
Story Credit: CTV News
Photo Credit: Pixabay