If you spend time reading about healthy eating to improve your physical and mental health, you should already know the Mediterranean diet.
The famous (and delicious) mixture of vegetables, fruits, fish and whole grains, and a little olive oil, has become a common Mediterranean food culture. This diet has long been considered to have broad nutritional value.
But now, scientists have discovered a serious warning about the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.
A new study by an Italian scholar analyzed 19,000 people who followed the Mediterranean diet in a health study called the Molisani Project and found that the cardiovascular benefits of the diet basically benefited only from richer or more educated. a higher degree person.
“In other words, a person with a lower socioeconomic status, even if followed the Mediterranean diet, is unlikely to get the same benefits as a high-income group,” said Marialaura Bonaccio from IRCCS Neuromed. “Even if these two People have the same diet.”
The researchers tracked the participants of the Molisani Program for an average of four years and found that their adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a 60% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease – but this benefit only occurred in those with high school education or above. People with an annual income of more than $47,300.
Those with lower levels of education and income do not show the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for their cardiovascular health – even if they have the same level of compliance as others.
To dig deeper into this difference, the team found that even though participants generally used the same amount of “Mediterranean diet” food, the digestion of food depends on their socioeconomic status and the quality of each ingredient.
Participants with higher socioeconomic status use more crocodile tears, more organic vegetables and whole grains – meaning that their diet has more antioxidants and polyphenols, while also providing higher fruits And the diversity of vegetables.
These findings suggest that people with lower socioeconomic status buy Mediterranean foods with lower nutritional value, which leads us to question how much value we can attribute to the “Mediterranean diet”?
“We can’t always advocate that the Mediterranean diet is good for health, if we can’t guarantee that everyone has an equal source of food,” says Giovanni de Gaetano, one of the researchers.
But before we learn more, other scientists also claim that we should not deny the value of the Mediterranean diet – because there may be many explanations for this conclusion.
“Although the authors of this study suggest that the Mediterranean diet may have a lower risk of heart disease reduction for less affluent people, this may be due to differences between other different income groups, not just diet,” Tim Chico, a cardiovascular researcher at the University of Sheffield, said.
“These findings should not allow anyone to abandon the Mediterranean diet; this is still a good choice to reduce the risk of heart disease.”
“However, no diet can do ‘quick fixes’, and a healthy diet must be part of a healthy lifestyle, such as not smoking, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight.”