As you probably know, the Mediterranean Diet is a food plan rich in olive oil, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and seafood, legumes, white meats, and optional wine with meals.
The PREDIMED study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013 demonstrated that among those with high cardiovascular risk, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and nuts reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events (stroke, heart attack, and death). Secondary studies showed that it was also effective in preventing the development of type 2 diabetes, and consuming nuts was associated with a significantly reduced risk of death over a five-year period.
Plus, a 1999 study in the journal Circulation looked at men and women who had already suffered a heart attack who were placed on a Mediterranean-type diet supplemented with omega-3-rich margarine. After four years, the study showed that the Mediterranean-type diet was effective at preventing recurrent heart attacks or death from heart disease.
Several other studies on the Mediterranean diet have also shown it to be effective in reducing metabolic syndrome, helping glycemic control, and even delaying or reducing the need for drug therapy in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes.
Bottom line: If you're looking for a heart-healthy diet, research shows the Mediterranean diet works.