Researchers followed 25 volunteers between the ages of 41 and 65 who had a daily intake of between 1400 and 2000 calories for over 6 years. The calorie-restricted diet resembled the Mediterranean diet, as it was rich in olive oil, vegetables, whole grains, fish and fruit.
The study compared heart function, blood pressure and inflammatory markers in 25 age and gender matched individuals who had a calorie intake between 2,000 and 3,000 from a typical �Western� diet.
During the study period, the volunteers who had consumed the lower calorie diet experienced hearts that were more elastic, significantly lower blood pressure and lower levels of inflammatory markers associated with obesity.
While the researchers agree that the low calorie diet is too restrictive for most people to follow, these findings do have important implications and support recent study findings that suggest the Mediterranean diet could prolong lifespan and reduce heart disease risk factors.
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