Experts have been studying to expand metabolic syndrome treatment options for patients. A recent Spanish study indicated that Mediterranean diet, specifically its extra-virgin olive oil and nuts contents, reversed the symptoms of metabolic syndrome in nearly 30% of participants. Once again, this study proved the effectiveness of natural remedies. Read on for more details.
Olive Oil and Nuts as a Metabolic Syndrome Treatment
In this article:
- Treatment Study of PREDIMED Randomized Control Trial
- Benefits of Extra-Virgin Oil and Nuts
- Monounsaturated Fats and Antioxidants
- More Health Benefits From Nuts
Treatment Study of PREDIMED Randomized Control Trial
Researchers selected 5,800 men and women between the ages of 55 and 80 years from the randomized control trial PREDIMED. PREDIMED is the acronym of an extended, ongoing Spanish study examining the effects of the Mediterranean diet on the health of 7,000 people.
Current estimates show that over 25% of people worldwide suffer from metabolic syndrome, a condition that includes at least three of the following health issues:
- waist circumference greater than 40 inches (102 cm) in men and 34 inches in women
- blood triglyceride levels of 150 mg/dL or greater
- high-density lipoprotein cholesterol greater than 40mg/dL in men or greater than 50mg/dL in women
- blood pressure of 130/85 mmHg or greater or use of blood pressure medication
- blood sugar levels of 100 mg/dL or greater or use of diabetes medication
For this study, participants were assigned to one of three groups:
- Mediterranean diet with extra-virgin olive oil supplement
- Mediterranean diet with a nut supplement
- Low-fat diet (control group)
Although nearly 65% of study participants were considered to have metabolic syndrome at the start of the study, 28% or 958 participants in both Mediterranean diet groups displayed no sign of metabolic syndrome nearly five years after the study.
Benefits of Extra-Virgin Oil and Nuts
Researchers concluded that the decrease in symptoms contributing to metabolic syndrome was a result of adding nuts and/or extra-virgin olive oil to the diet. While neither olive oil or nuts will help you with weight loss, both are considered to be among the best sources of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, which are essential for reducing the conditions contributing to metabolic syndrome.
Monounsaturated Fats and Antioxidants
For a maximum olive oil benefit provided by the monounsaturated fats and antioxidants in the oil, recent studies recommend adding 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil a day to your diet. The recommended ways to incorporate extra-virgin olive oil include the following:
- as a replacement for butter
- mix with vinegar for a salad dressing
- drizzle on steamed chicken, fish, or vegetables
- combine with basil and nuts to create a pesto
- take a tablespoon in the morning and a tablespoon before dinner
More Health Benefits from Nuts
In addition to monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, nuts are also a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and vitamin E – all of which are highly recommended for supporting heart health, lowering blood pressure, and protecting against metabolic syndrome.
While there are several different types of nuts out there, and most appear to provide similar health benefits, some types of nuts, such as hazelnuts, Macadamia nuts, walnuts, and pecans, have better nutritional benefits. They contain the highest amounts of antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids.
For maximum health benefits from nuts, the American Heart Association recommends eating roughly 1 ounce of raw or dry-roasted unsalted nuts or 2 tablespoons of unsalted nut butter per day. Nuts can be added to a salad, mixed with oatmeal, or eaten as a snack.
With extra-virgin olive oil and nuts as part natural metabolic syndrome treatments, a good cluster of health conditions can be managed. The healing abilities of these natural remedies can also make a huge difference in managing health issues like high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and heart disease.
The complete study, titled Mediterranean Diet, Olive Oil and Nuts Can Help Reverse Metabolic Syndrome, is published in the October 2014 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
What are your thoughts on metabolic syndrome treatment? Leave your comments now in the comments section!
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on September 12, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the nutritional products mentioned is intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure or Prevent Any Disease.
CMAJ. Mediterranean diet, Olive Oil, and Nuts Can Help Reverse Metabolic Syndrome. October 14, 2014. www.cmaj.ca/site/misc/pr/14oct14_pr.xhtml.