Numerous studies have found that the Mediterranean diet can offer protection against heart disease. A 2014 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine followed some 7,500 people for five years to see how different diets impacted their health. Those on the Mediterranean diet significantly lowered their risk for heart disease.
"The Mediterranean diet is more of an eating pattern than a diet," says cardiologist Tak Poon, M.D., of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. "Medically, it's the best clinically proven diet studied. In addition to heart disease prevention, clinical studies have shown benefits for diabetes, cognition, weight loss, even mortality and possibly some cancers. Practically, for most people, it's very easy to stick with long term."