Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is a valuable cultural heritage that represents more than just a nutritional guideline, rich and healthy. It is a balanced lifestyle that includes recipes, ways of cooking, celebrations, customs, typical products and various human activities.

PREDIMED (PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea), es un ensayo clí­nico multicéntrico, de grupos paralelos, aleatorizado y controlado destinado a evaluar los efectos de la Dieta Mediterránea en la prevención primaria de enfermedades cardiovasculares (www.predimed.org; ISRCTN35739639).

Este estudio duró 10 años (2003 – 2012), donde colaboraron 16 grupos de investigadores en 8 comunidades autónomas de España. Los participantes fueron asignados al azar para que siguieran uno de los tres grupos de dieta: Dieta mediterránea complementada con aceite de oliva virgen, complementada con frutos secos y dieta baja en grasas de acuerdo con directrices de la American Heart Association.

As a main result, it was observed that the Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts influenced the reduction of the risk of presenting a cardiovascular event. From this, our group and other researchers who have worked on this trial, have supported, through various publications, that the Mediterranean diet has a positive impact on health, so promoting its consumption is necessary for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

We have evaluated the relationship of tomato consumption (fresh, gazpacho and tomato sauce), with excretion of polyphenols in urine. Also how the consumption of these foods influences blood pressure and the incidence of hypertension. Finally, we study the effect of tomato-related consumption patterns in certain genetic polymorphisms on blood pressure.

Due to the results of the PREDIMED study that support the importance of the Mediterranean diet in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, in 2013 it was decided to carry out another complementary study, called PREDIMED PLUS (www.predimedplus.com; ISRCTN89898870), in order to assess the effect of a multifactorial intervention on the reduction of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in adults over 55 years of age who are overweight and obese.

The design of this study consists of carrying out an intensive intervention, based on the consumption of a low-calorie Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra virgin olive oil and nuts, in addition to promoting physical activity and behavioral therapy; versus an intervention similar to the PREDIMED study, based only on a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil and nuts. The final results of this multicenter study will be seen from 2020.