When it comes to alleged health benefits, the Mediterranean diet fares incredibly well.
Increasing one’s intake of fresh fish, nuts, fruits, cereals, and potatoes while reducing dairy and meat seems to be a veritable panacea.
In recent years, the diet has grown in popularity, and a body of research has now developed to support many of the varied health claims.
Studying the impact of dietary choices on a population is notoriously challenging, but the amount of evidence supporting the benefits of the Mediterranean diet is close to overwhelming.
Recently, the Universities of East Anglia, Aberdeen, and Cambridge — all in the United Kingdom — joined forces to discover whether everyone’s favorite diet might also reduce the risk of stroke. Earlier this week, their findings were published in the journal Stroke.
Mediterranean diet and stroke risk
In all, the study used information from 23,232 white people, aged 40–77, over a 17-year period. The data were taken from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer study, a project initially set up to investigate “the connection between diet, lifestyle factors, and cancer.”
To gauge the participants’ diets, the scientists asked them to use 7-day diaries; everything that they consumed was noted down for a 1-week period. This method is more reliable than the often-used food-frequency questionnaires, which ask participants how frequently they tend to eat certain items.