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The best meds.

In an Italian study of 180 people with the metabolic syndrome, those who ate a healthy Mediterranean diet had less inflammation and insulin resistance.

Patients on the Mediterranean diet ate twice as much fruit, vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains, olive oil, and omega-3 fats (largely from fish)-- and half as much saturated fat--as the control group. Both groups consumed roughly equal amounts of alcohol, total fat, protein, and carbohydrates.

After two years, signs of insulin resistance and inflammation (like C-reactive protein and interleukin-6) were lower and blood vessels were more flexible in the Mediterranean dieters than in the control group.

What's more, the Mediterranean group improved more than the control group on all measures of the metabolic syndrome--large waist size, low HDL ("good") cholesterol, and higher-than-optimal blood sugar, blood pressure, and triglycerides.

What to do: Eat more fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and seafood. Replace saturated fats from meat and dairy with unsaturated fats from oils and nuts.

J. Amer. Med. Assoc. 292:1440, 2004.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Quick Studies; Mediterranean diet
Publication:Nutrition Action Healthletter
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUIT
Date:Nov 1, 2004
Previous Article:Never too late.
Next Article:Movers & thinkers.

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