Scientists have found that the Atlantic diet is more effective at reducing cholesterol than the Mediterranean diet.
Researchers from the University of Santiago de Compostela studied the dietary habits of 231 families living in the commune of A Estrada in northwestern Spain from March 2014 to March 2015.
A total of 574 people participated in the study, with 121 families following the Atlantic diet and 110 families following their usual eating habits.
The study, published February 7 in the scientific journal JAMA Network Open, measured participants’ waist circumference, triglyceride levels, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, blood pressure and fasting glucose levels.
These are the 5 key elements of metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease and stroke.
The investigations showed that 23 of the 457 participants who did not initially have metabolic syndrome developed the disorder after 6 months. Of these, 17 maintained their own dietary routine, while 6 were on the Atlantic diet.
At the beginning of the study, 117 people suffered from metabolic syndrome. Of those who started the Atlantic diet as part of the test, 18 were free of the syndrome within 6 months. Sixteen of those who maintained a routine diet also improved.
The Atlantic diet “had no significant effect on high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels or high fasting glucose levels, but improved waist circumference measurements and improved HDL cholesterol levels,” the scientists reported. HDL is colloquially known as “good cholesterol” because it removes cholesterol from the body, which leads to the formation of excess plaque in the arteries.