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Study: Plant-Based Diets With Nuts and Virgin Olive Oil Can Reduce Heart Disease Risk By 30%

by Sandy Todd Webster on Apr 26, 2013

Food for Thought

We already understand the many benefits of the Mediterranean diet, but a new study casts yet another convincing health vote in its favor.

A landmark global study shows that people who eat a plant-based Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts or virgin olive oil may enjoy long-term benefits, including a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The study—presented at the 6th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition, held at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California, and published in The New England Journal of Medicine (online February 25, 2013; doi: 10/1056/NEJMoa/ 200303)—involved 7,447 individuals (aged 55-80) at high risk of cardiovascular disease but with no symptoms. Subjects were followed for an average of 4.8 years between 2003 and 2011.

The results favor two Mediterranean diets (one supplemented with nuts, the other with virgin olive oil) over a low-fat diet for beneficial effects on a range of intermediate outcomes, including body weight, blood pressure, insulin resistance, blood lipids, lipid oxidation and systemic inflammation.

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 10, Issue 5

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About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.