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There is growing evidence that people with high cholesterol levels who adopt a diet which is higher in fat have lower risk of heart attack and cardiovascular-disease-related death than those who follow a strictly low fat diet.
According to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine, scientists researched and analysed studies dating back as far as 1957 that looked at the correlation of certain food types to heart disease.
Previous studies had shown that a low-fat diet could lower cholesterol but from the research team’s analysis, it was found that patients who followed a diet similar to that traditional in the Mediterranean – with a high consumption of vegetables, olive oil, ‘natural fats’, fish and a moderately high consumption of protein – had up to a 30% lower risk of heart disease and stroke due to the diet’s ability to encourage the intake of monounsaturated fats which are known to lower cholesterol rates.
They added that their findings showed a consumption of a variety of ‘cardioprotective foods’ (fruit, vegetables, oily fish, pulses, oats, nuts and monounsaturated fats) is better at preventing heart disease than a standard low-fat diet. Previous research has linked the Mediterranean-style diet to many other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of cancer, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Following the diet has also been linked with reduced risk of early death and has proved to be a successful weight loss strategy.
If you’re looking to go on holiday with high cholesterol, a variety of countries in Europe follow the Mediterranean diet with precision, allowing your time away to be healthy as well as indulgent and enjoyable. Greece, Spain, Italy and Morocco are some of the most popular holiday destinations which enjoy a diet rich in cardioprotective foods. If you’re planning on travelling with high cholesterol levels, remember to invest in quality medical travel insurance, so you’re protected against the unexpected.