It is has been proven, more specifically, that this type of diet is distinguished by its beneficial effects which are the following:
1. Increase of life expectancy: the traditional Mediterranean Diet is associated to a longer life expectancy both for the population in general and for people with an ischemic heart disease.
2. Decrease of mortality: the consumption of a Mediterranean Diet is associated to an overall lower risk of mortality and a similar decrease in mortality of coronary, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, in a healthy population older than 70.
3. Ischemic heart disease, cardiovascular illness: the consumption of a Mediterranean type diet, rich in linolenic acid reduces 50% to 70% of cardiovascular risk, depending on the valuation criteria analysed.
It reduces the relative risk of suffering a heart attack, maintaining its protective effect up to 4 years after having suffered the first myocardial attack without altering the independent recurrence predictor power of the traditional risk factors such as hyperoscherolemia and hypertension. People with a relatively high intake of Mediterranean Diet food have less premature mortality after a first myocardial attack. The Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of coronary diseases between 8% and 45%.
4. Metabolic syndrome and blood pressure: the Mediterranean Diet could reduce the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its associated vascular risk, possibly due to the decrease of the inflammation it has associated. It could reduce the concentration of proost-inflammatory and pro-coagulant markers in people without cardiovascular history. To adhere to a Mediterranean diet is inversely related to blood pressure.
5. Overweight or obesity: in different transversal studies with more than 3,000 adult participants without a cardiovascular disease history, it was proven that the adherence to a Mediterranean Diet was associated with a 39 to 50% reduction of the probability of becoming overweight or obese and with 59% less risk of developing overall obesity after controlling several confusing variables.
6. Cancer: those people ill with coronary artery disease that follow a Mediterranean Diet may be protected against developing certain tumours, especially urinary, digestive and throat tumours.