Health

Dr Miriam Stoppard: Why the Mediterranean diet is a solution to pollution – Miriam Stoppard

Dr Miriam Stoppard: Why the Mediterranean diet is a solution to pollution – Miriam Stoppard

You’re worried about pollution, yes? Want to offset the damage it can do? Simple. Switch to a Mediterranean diet. You know the one – mainly fruit and veg, wholegrains, fish, eggs, lean meat, nuts, seeds and olive oil.

Well, latest research from New York University on 548,699 people aged over 17 suggests it may be worth a try – it could make you five times less likely to die of pollution-related illnesses.

The research found that adults were more likely to die from heart attacks and heart disease if they were exposed to higher levels of pollution. But the increase in death rates was much less pronounced among adults who followed a Mediterranean diet.

For example, among adults who didn’t follow such a diet, the death rate from heart disease increased by 10% for every 10 parts per billion increase in nitrogen dioxide they had been exposed to. But among those whose diet was very similar to a Mediterranean diet, the death rate only increased by 2% for every 10 parts per billion increase in nitrogen dioxide.