Mediterranean Diet study ‘retraction’ meaningless

Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater!

A large study – one that was meant to be the most comprehensive to date in proving that the Mediterranean diet can help prevent heart disease and slash the odds of suffering a stroke — has been put before an academic firing squad.

Apparently, researchers led by a prominent doctor and professor of nutrition in Spain made a few mistakes when assigning different diets to study participants, and there was a boo-boo involving the handing out of some olive oil. Horrors!

The study authors were under so much pressure that they were forced to actually retract the paper from the New England Journal of Medicine, where it was published several years ago.

But instead of the mainstream putting aside these minor imperfections for the greater good of people living longer and healthier by eating this way, it looks like the critics are coming out of the woodwork.

One, a professor at Stanford University, said that the research certainly didn’t convince him to change his diet. Others are saying that no matter how hard the scientists try to fix the study, they remain “unconvinced” of the results.

Truth be told, this whole uproar is just a lot of noise over nothing. Research proving the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet has been coming in so fast and so furiously that I’m surprised this is even an issue.

And if you’re not already eating this way, you’re missing out on an easy method that can allow you to put some of today’s biggest diseases – including diabetes – in the rearview mirror!

Out with the bad and in with the good!

Sometimes, I think some of these academics just have too much time on their hands.

I mean, claiming that there’s any question that a Mediterranean diet – one high in veggies, fruits, nuts, and olive oil — can improve your health in numerous ways is akin to asking whether water is wet!

The study in question, completed and published several years ago, was set up to compare three different ways of eating – a classic Mediterranean diet with at least four tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil per day, the same diet with a daily ounce of mixed nuts, or a run-of-the-mill low-fat diet.

And to the surprise of no one who has read a medical journal in the past two decades, both versions of the Mediterranean diet beat out low-fat fare when it came to preventing heart attacks and strokes.

So, how did this informative and innocent research into what’s now commonly accepted knowledge become a crime-scene investigation?

It turns out that a doctor in the UK didn’t like how some of the details were handled, such as having an entire household on the same diet (whether extra olive oil, added nuts, or low-fat) instead of randomly putting each family member on a different one.

Seriously? Has that doctor ever tried to plan meals for his own family, I wonder?

And the results were even re-analyzed for an entire year, with the conclusions remaining the same: A Mediterranean diet can lower your risk of heart disease.

The bottom line here is that there’s no reason to doubt the benefits of eating this way. It’s been shown time and time again that when you consume good fats (such as olive oil and nuts) and ditch unhealthy ones (like corn, canola, and soy oil), fill your plate with colorful vegetables, have several servings of fish a week, and cut back on meat and sweets, you will see noticeable improvements in your health.

HSI panel member Dr. Mark Steingler has been recommending the Mediterranean diet to his patients for a long time now, calling it the “miracle ‘drug’ the world’s been waiting for.”

Along with helping to keep your ticker going strong, as we’ve told you, the Mediterranean diet can significantly lower your risk of type 2 diabetes (even without your losing weight!) and help to keep your bones strong, arthritis pain under control, and your brain sharp as a tack.

No further analysis needed!

“That huge Mediterranean Diet study was flawed. But was it wrong?” Gina Kilata, June 13, 2018, The New York Times, nytimes.com