Mediterranean Diet
A dish of "Steamed cod with seasonal vegetables cooked in olive oil and lemon" trademark of French chef Christian Constant (not pictured) and cooked by Chef Thomas Bruno (not pictured) is seen in AccorHotels' Sofitel Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, October 23, 2015. Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

Italian experts have claimed that a Mediterranean-styled diet is good for the heart and way better than cholesterol-lowering drugs. Researchers involved in the study said that people following diets rich in fish, nuts, vegetables and olive oil are a third less likely to die early compared to those eating larger amounts of beef, butter and red meat.

Professor Giovanni de Gaetano, leading heart disease expert, said at a global conference on heart disease in Italy that most research done till date have focused on the general population that mainly consists of healthy people. He raised a question about those people who have already suffered cardiovascular diseases and whether Mediterranean diet is still optimal for them.

Gaetano explained that during the process of the study, he found that people who ate on the lines of the Mediterranean diet were 37 percent less likely to die than those who were furthest from this dietary pattern, reports

Gaetano’s findings go against previous beliefs that cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins are the most-effective in combating heart diseases. Statins are thought to reduce major heart problems by about 24 percent.

“The Mediterranean diet is more powerful than any drug at reducing death rates in cardiovascular disease ... It’s time for the NHS to embrace lifestyle medicine to rapidly save it from the collapse being predominantly driven by diet-related disease,” British cardiologist Aseem Malhotra told

The National Health Service (NHS) in Britain has been urged to subsidise vegetables and fruits after the findings were reported and start prescribing healthy eating to millions of people with heart trouble.

Cardiovascular diseases are a major concern and a cause of death in Australia. In 2013, 43,603 deaths were attributed to cardiovascular diseases Down Under. As per Heart Foundation, one Australian dies every 12 minutes because of cardiovascular diseases.