How the Mediterranean Diet Can Minimize Your Heart Disease Risk
The focus on unsaturated heart healthy fats that help lower your LDL cholesterol and raise your HDL cholesterol, as well as reduce the risk for oxidation of cholesterol.
This oxidation is what leads to artery plaque build-up and, eventually, heart attack or stroke. In the Mediterranean diet, you swap out butter and limit red meat and full-fat dairy products in favor of olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, and fish — items that give you a dose of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like omega-3s.
Omega-3 fatty acids from fish in particular help decrease your triglycerides, which is another type of fat in your blood that increases your risk for heart disease. In addition, omega-3 fats can reduce inflammation in your body that may cause damage to your arteries.