A study has found those who had a diet rich in vegetables, nuts, fish and oils were a third less likely to die early, compared with those who ate larger quantities of red meat, such as beef, and butter.
Speaking in Italy at a global conference on heart disease, leading heart disease expert Professor Giovanni de Gaetano said: “So far research has focused on the general population, which is mainly composed of healthy people.
“What happens to people who have already suffered from cardiovascular disease?
“Is the Mediterranean diet optimal for them too?”
The conference was told those who ate mainly along Mediterranean lines were 37 per cent less likely to die during the study than those who were furthest from this dietary pattern.
According to the National Heart Foundation, cardiovascular disease caused 19,766 Australian deaths in 2013 – 13 per cent of all deaths. This amounts to an average of 54 people each day or one death every 27 minutes.