This was a huge study. More than 7,000 people were randomly assigned to one of three diets. Often in diet studies, researchers will look at changes in blood pressure or cholesterol, but what’s significant here is that instead they looked at numbers of heart attacks, stroke and deaths among participants. “At the end of the day, that is what really matters,” says a spokesperson for the American Heart Association.

About 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they switch to a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, and even drink wine with meals, a large and rigorous new study found.

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Lisa Aliferis

Lisa Aliferis is the founding editor of KQED's State of Health blog. Since 2011, she's been writing stories and editing them for the site. Before taking up blogging, she toiled for many years producing health stories for television, including Dateline NBC and San Francisco's CBS affiliate, KPIX-TV. She also wrote up a handy guide to the Affordable Care Act, especially for Californians. You can follow her on Twitter: @laliferis

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