The link between nutrition and cardiovascular disease has been scientifically proven in the "7 Countries Study".
This is the most comprehensive and first-of-its-kind scientific study examining the relationship between diet, lifestyle, and risk factors affecting the cardiovascular system.
The 7 participating countries are: USA, Finland, Holland, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia and Japan. Each country represents a different diet. For example: The diet in Finland was characterized by high consumption of animal fats including high cholesterol levels. While in Greece, the diet included lots of plant foods and healthy fats such as olive oil.
The founder of the study is the American, Ansel Keys, who was joined by researchers and scientists from each of the countries in order to provide reliable and scientific data.
The assumption of the study was that the incidence rate of cardiovascular disease would vary among populations depending on the activity and physical lifestyle practiced in them.
The study lasted for more than 50 years in 3 different stages and included analyses of different types of nutrition as well as a follow-up of the participants' cardiovascular data.
This groundbreaking study has shown that cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and smoking are universal risk factors for cardiovascular disease. From the types of diet studied, it was found that the healthiest and most recommended diet is the diet practiced in Italy and Greece which Ansel Case and his Italian partner called the " Mediterranean Diet ". The study showed that this diet, as well as the Japanese diet, are associated with low morbidity rates.
The study unequivocally concluded that a healthy diet, exercise and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes contribute to the quality and prolongation of life and can even delay cognitive decline and reduce the chance of depression. That is: nutrition affects not only the blood system but also the nervous system and all other systems in the body!
Research has shown that cardiovascular disease can indeed be prevented by a healthy lifestyle. In fact, it is easier to prevent these diseases than to treat them after they their symptoms have already begun.
These are not speculations — scientific data collected over the years proves the direct link between nutrition and disease.
That is why it is especially important to invest in a healthy lifestyle right now. The benefits of investing in the present are the prevention of diseases, improved physical and mental health, enhanced quality of life and even increased lifespan. It is best to eat healthy and avoid diseases that may require medical attention or medication.
It is more profitable to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, nutritious food and exercise that is good for the body and soul than to get various diseases and need medical intervention.
Even someone who is already ill and suffering from cardiovascular disease will improve his medical metrics if he or she will follow the Mediterranean Diet, which has been proven by many doctors, experts and studies around the world even beyond the 7 Countries Study. We will detail this in in the following articles.
The next article will deal with the Mediterranean diet, the most recommended diet according to the 7 Countries Study. It is a great example of how eat healthy, easily, enjoyably, and affordably!
It is important to emphasize that healthy food does not only include vegetables and fruits – but a wide range of options such as whole grains and legumes.
Link to the article in Hebrew.
Noa Roll is a certified naturopath (ND) and founder of The Aleph Factor.