Atlantic Diet Reduces Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

by Ella

A diet reminiscent of the culinary traditions in northwestern Spain and Portugal has been linked to a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, according to recent research findings.

Known as the Atlantic diet, this dietary regimen shares similarities with the widely acclaimed Mediterranean diet, emphasizing the consumption of fresh, locally sourced fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, olive oil, fish, seafood, dairy, meat, and wine.


The study, which focused on a previous research endeavor, involved 574 participants who were required to be part of family units consisting of two or more members.


Participants were divided into two groups: an intervention group comprising 121 families who adhered to the Atlantic diet and a control group comprising 110 families who maintained their regular dietary habits.


Over the course of six months, participants in the intervention group received nutrition education, cooking classes, and food parcels to facilitate adherence to the Atlantic diet.


The researchers observed the most significant improvements in metabolic syndrome among participants in the intervention group.

Among individuals without pre-existing metabolic syndrome, only 2.7% of those in the intervention group developed the condition, compared to 7.3% in the control group.

Metabolic syndrome is typically characterized by the presence of three or more of the following risk factors: abdominal obesity, hypertension, elevated blood glucose levels, high triglycerides, and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

In addition to assessing the impact on metabolic health, the study also examined the Atlantic diet’s influence on carbon footprint emissions.

Surprisingly, both the control group and the intervention group exhibited similar reductions in carbon footprint emissions. This led researchers to emphasize the necessity for further investigations to thoroughly evaluate the environmental implications of the Atlantic diet.

Dr. Mar Calvo-Malvar, a specialist in Laboratory Medicine at the University Clinical Hospital of Santiago de Compostela in Spain and one of the study’s authors, commented on the significance of their findings.

“I believe our findings provide significant evidence regarding the potential of traditional diets to accelerate progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, especially on SDG 13 (health and climate action),” stated Dr. Calvo-Malvar.

“We intend to continue studying the effects of the traditional Atlantic diet in broader populations and in different economic contexts. Additionally, we are exploring ways to promote the adoption of this diet as a strategy to improve public health and address environmental challenges,” Dr. Calvo-Malvar added.



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