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Both Mediterranean and paleo diets are healthy

Both the Mediterranean diet, which most nutritionists are still lyrical about, and the paleo diet, which the same nutritionists tend to abhor, are healthy. Both types of diet reduce the risk of dying biostatisticians and epidemiologists at Emory University in the United States discovered.

The researchers used data on 21,423 Americans that had been gathered for the study entitled Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke. At the start of the study the participants were older than 45, and the researchers followed them for an average of six years.

The researchers divided the participants twice into five equal-sized groups based on their diet. On one occasion this was done by looking at the extent to which the participants' diet complied with the criteria of the Mediterranean diet, and on the other occasion the extent to which their diet resembled the paleo diet.

Q1: least resembles the Mediterranean diet / paleo diet, Q5: most resembles the Mediterranean diet / paleo diet.

Both Mediterranean and paleo diets are healthy

The more the participants' diet lived up to the criteria of the paleo diet and the Mediterranean diet, the less likely the participants were to die during the study. The Mediterranean diet appeared to do slightly better than the paleo diet.

Both Mediterranean and paleo diets are healthy

Both Mediterranean and paleo diets are healthy

Both the Mediterranean diet and the paleo diet reduce the chances of dying from cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other causes. The figure below shows the results for cancer. Once again, the Mediterranean diet seems to offer slightly more protection than the paleo diet.

"In conclusion, our findings, taken together with those from previous studies, suggest that diets that are more Paleolithic- or Mediterranean-like may be associated with lower risk of all cause, cardiovascular-specific, cancer-specific, and other non-injury or accident-specific mortality," the researchers wrote.

J Nutr. 2017 Apr;147(4):612-620.

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