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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

12/17/2004

Health Advice You Can Actually Use

A good deal of the diet advice put out by the media and based on assorted studies is about what not to eat. Which, it often turns out, is a moving target. Now some happy scientists have compiled a list of things you should eat for cadio vascular health...And what a list,
The menu includes wine, fish, dark chocolate, fruits, vegetables, garlic and almonds. All ingredients must be consumed daily in the recommended amounts, except for fish, which research suggests should be eaten four times per week.
reuters
This is, more or less, the much discussed Mediterranean diet.
Previous research has shown that drinking 150 milliliters of wine every day can reduce cardiovascular disease by 32 percent, while eating fish four times per week cuts the risk of disease by 14 percent.

Treating yourself to 100 grams of dark chocolate every day appears to reduce systolic blood pressure — the top number in a blood pressure reading — by 5 units, and the bottom blood pressure number by almost 2 units, which research suggests may reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems by 20 percent.

Consuming 400 grams of fruits and vegetables does as good a job of reducing blood pressure as dark chocolate, while research shows that both garlic and almonds lower cholesterol, an important factor in protecting people from cardiovascular problems.

Based on calculations using mathematical models, Franco and his colleagues estimate that people who combine these ingredients into Polymeals may have a 76 percent lower risk of cardiovascular problems, and spend many extra years of life with healthy hearts and blood vessels.
Combine this with a reasonable amount of exercise (and if I could just finally quit smoking) and you add quality to your life as well as years. And what's not to like about wine and chocolate?