2/25/2013 6:27 PM
by Rebecca Turco
BECKLEY - A study released Monday suggests a Mediterranean diet can reduce heart-related problems in older people at high risk of them.
Half of the 7,500 people involved in the study had diabetes, and most had high blood pressure and cholesterol. At the end of the study, participants who followed the Mediterranean diet had a 30-percent lower risk of heart problems, compared to those who followed a low-fat diet.
Doctor Ayne Amjad of the Southern West Virginia Clinic said she agrees the Mediterranean diet promotes a healthy lifestyle. "It's not something so crazy where you have to go out and buy all these crazy foods," she said. "You just have to make sure that you're just picking better choices of foods."
Olive oil, nuts, fruit, salads, chicken and fish are some staples of the Mediterranean diet.
Beckley resident Dedriell Taylor said she has a history of high blood pressure in the family, and so she wants to adopt the Mediterranean diet to live a healthier lifestyle. "I don't want to get to that age and then have to deal with all of those things," she said. I would like to address them now."
Doctor Amjad explained that since West Virginia has one of the highest obesity rates in the nation, locals can benefit from switching over to a Mediterranean style diet. "I think it's more an education where you can make the foods you like with the healthy oils rather than using what grandma used, which was a long time ago."
Doctor Amjad added the Mediterranean diet can provide a proactive approach, even for those not at risk of heart problems.