OK, I didn’t need another study to tell me this, although there have been plenty of studies that show that the Mediterranean diet even though high in fat, is good for the heart. According to Canadian researchers of this new study “A single junk food meal – composed mainly of saturated fat – is detrimental to the health of the arteries, while no damage occurs after consuming a Mediterranean meal rich in good fats such as mono-and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The Mediterranean meal may even have a positive effect on the arteries.” Well yes of course.
The researchers from the University of Montreal-affiliated ÉPIC Center of the Montreal Heart Institute basically gave 28 men who didn’t smoke a Mediterranean style meal: fatty fish, vegetables cooked in olive oil and almonds with 51% of the calories coming from fat (mostly good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat) and then a week later a junk food meal with bacon, eggs, sausages with 58% of the calories coming mainly from saturated fats. Afterwards the men underwent some tests and they saw that after the junk food meal their arteries dilated 24% less than normal, whereas after the Mediterranean meal their arteries were dilating normally and had good blood flow.The researchers noted that poor endothelial function is one of the most significant precursors of atherosclerosis.
The lesson to be learned here is that not all fats are the same. Yes, all fats have the same calories but they affect our body in very different ways.
So, next time you are trying to follow a Mediterranean style diet and are cutting back on the good fat, thinking that you only need vegetables, fruit and fiber, remember this study. Good fat is your friend.