Reversing Metabolic Syndrome with Nuts and Olive Oil
A recent Spanish study indicates that the Mediterranean diet, Specifically including Extra-Virgin olive oil and nuts, Reverses the symptoms of metabolic syndrome in nearly 30% of participants.
Researchers selected 5800 men and women between the ages of 55 and 80 from the randomized control trial PREDIMED. PREDIMED is the acronym of an extended, Ongoing Spanish study examining the effects of the Mediterranean diet on the health of 7000 people.
Current estimates indicate that over 25% of people worldwide suffer from metabolic syndrome, a condition that includes 3 or more of the following:
- Waist Circumference greater than 40 inches (102 cm) in men and 34 inches in women
- Blood Triglycerides levels of 150 mg/dL or greater
- High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol greater than 40mg/dL in men or greater than 50mg/dL in women
- Blood Pressure of 130/85 mmHg or greater or use of blood pressure medication
- Blood Sugar levels of 100 mg/dL or greater or use of diabetes medication
Specifically, For this study, Participants were assigned to one of three groups:
- Mediterranean Diet with Extra-Virgin olive oil supplement
- Mediterranean Diet with a nut supplement, or
- Low-Fat Diet (Control Group)
Although nearly 65% of study participants were considered to have metabolic syndrome at the start of the study; 28%, or 958 participants, in the both Mediterranean diet groups displayed no sign of metabolic syndrome nearly 5 years after the study.
The Great News For Us
Researchers concluded that the decrease in symptoms contributing to metabolic syndrome was a result of adding nuts and/or Extra-Virgin olive oil to the diet. While neither olive oil or nuts will help you lose weight, Both are considered to be among the best sources of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants (Which are essential for reducing the conditions contributing to metabolic syndrome).
For maximum health benefits provided by the monounsaturated fats and antioxidants in Extra-Virgin olive oil, Recent studies recommend adding 2 tablespoons of Extra-Virgin olive oil a day to your diet. Recommended ways to incorporate Extra-Virgin olive oil include:
- As a replacement for butter
- Mix with vinegar for a salad dressing
- Drizzle on steamed chicken, Fish, or Vegetables
- Combine with basil and nuts to create a pesto
- Take a tablespoon in the morning and a tablespoon before dinner.
In addition to monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, Nuts are also a great source of Omega-3 Fatty acids, Fiber, and Vitamin E - all of which are highly recommended for supporting heart health, Lowering blood pressure and protecting against metabolic syndrome.
While there are several different types of nuts out there, and most appear to provide similar health benefits, some types of nuts are much better than the rest. Walnuts, Pecans, Macadamia nuts and hazelnuts contain the highest amounts of antioxidants and Omega-3 Fatty acids.
For maximum health benefits from nuts, the American Heart Association recommends eating roughly 1-ounce of raw or Dry-Roasted unsalted nuts or 2 tablespoons of unsalted nut butter per day. Nuts can be added to a salad, Mixed with oatmeal, or eaten as a snack.
The complete study, titled Mediterranean Diet, Olive Oil and Nuts Can Help Reverse Metabolic Syndrome, is published in the October 2014 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
CMAJ. Mediterranean diet, Olive oil and nuts can help reverse metabolic syndrome. October 14, 2014.www.cmaj.ca/site/misc/pr/14oct14_pr.xhtml.