Study Reveals Benefits of Atlantic Diet in Lowering Cholesterol and Waistline

by Ella

A recent study sheds light on the potential health benefits of adopting the Atlantic Diet, a traditional dietary pattern prevalent in regions of Portugal and Spain. Published findings suggest that adhering to this diet may reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors associated with chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Metabolic syndrome encompasses five key risk factors: high blood glucose, high blood pressure, elevated triglyceride levels, large waist circumference, and low levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Individuals are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome if three or more of these factors are present.


Dr. Cheng-Han Chen, an interventional cardiologist, underscores the significance of the study’s findings, emphasizing the Atlantic Diet’s potential to positively impact various aspects of health, including cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood sugar control, and obesity. Drawing parallels to the well-established Mediterranean diet, Dr. Chen highlights the similarities between the two dietary patterns.


The Atlantic Diet, characterized by its emphasis on seasonal, local, fresh, and minimally processed foods, shares core principles with the Mediterranean Diet. Both dietary patterns prioritize nutrient-dense foods, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fish, seafood, and olive oil. Food preparation methods typically involve simple techniques such as boiling, grilling, baking, and stewing, contributing to the preservation of nutrients and flavors.


According to Tracy Crane, PhD, RDN, of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, dietary patterns like the Atlantic Diet have the potential to mitigate the risk of various chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and cognitive decline.


The study, conducted over a 6-month period, involved over 200 families from northwestern Spain. Participants were randomly assigned to either follow the Atlantic Diet or maintain their usual dietary habits. Those following the Atlantic Diet received additional support, including nutrition education sessions, cooking classes, recipe books, and food baskets containing typical diet ingredients.

Results indicated that participants adhering to the Atlantic Diet experienced a reduced risk of developing metabolic syndrome compared to those following their usual diet. Specifically, improvements were observed in waist circumference, obesity around the middle, and HDL cholesterol levels.

While the study highlights the potential benefits of the Atlantic Diet, researchers acknowledge that further investigation is warranted to assess its long-term effects comprehensively. Despite the study’s strengths, including a large sample size and moderate socioeconomic diversity among participants, certain limitations, such as the inability to account for all influencing factors, are noted.

The study underscores the importance of embracing dietary patterns rich in whole, minimally processed foods, irrespective of geographic location. By prioritizing nutrient-dense foods and adopting healthy eating habits, individuals can take proactive steps toward reducing their risk of chronic diseases and promoting overall well-being.

In conclusion, the Atlantic Diet presents a promising approach to improving health outcomes, with its emphasis on wholesome ingredients, traditional cooking methods, and family-oriented eating habits. By incorporating elements of the Atlantic Diet into their daily lives, individuals can embark on a path toward optimal health and longevity.



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