Atlantic diet and mortality in Europe

The Atlantic diet, rich in fish, meat, dairy products, vegetables, legumes, potatoes and whole grain bread, is the result of centuries of adaptation to the geographical and meteorological conditions of Galicia in Spain, as well as northern Portugal. The proximity to the Atlantic Ocean favors the consumption of fish, and the abundant pastures stimulate animal husbandry and, as a result, the consumption of red meat, pork sausages and dairy products.

Horticultural products such as potatoes, vegetables and legumes form the basis of this diet and are often consumed in broths or traditional green broth. Bread, usually whole grain, is made from rye, corn or wheat. Traditionally, the meal was accompanied by wine.

Previous studies by the same authors showed that people following the Atlantic diet had better cardiovascular risk scores and a lower risk of myocardial infarction and mortality. However, these studies focused exclusively on the Spanish population, raising doubts about their applicability to other contexts.

The new study, led by a team led by Adrian Carballo-Casla from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) in Spain, focused on finding out whether the Atlantic diet was associated with lower and higher mortality in Spain, the Czech Republic and Poland. and the United Kingdom.

“The point was to see, on the one hand, whether people who had a diet more similar to the Atlantic diet died less than others, and, on the other hand, whether these results were similar in Spain and other countries included in the study. study,” the study authors detail.

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Seafood is a component of the Atlantic diet. (Photo: Amazings/NCYT)

The results, based on data from 36,000 people from four European cohorts (ENRICA in Spain, HAPIEE in the Czech Republic and Poland, and Whitehall II in the United Kingdom), show that those whose diets most closely followed the Atlantic diet had higher mortality rates. this figure is 15% lower compared to those who adhere to a completely different diet.

These benefits, observed after more than 13 years of follow-up, were primarily driven by reductions in mortality from cardiovascular disease (19% less) and cancer (8% less).

Interestingly, the country in which the Atlantic diet reduced mortality the most was not Spain, but Poland, as the researchers found.

Additionally, when comparing the Atlantic Diet to other healthy eating models, such as the DASH diet and Harvard University’s Alternative Healthy Eating Index, researchers found similar results in terms of reduced mortality.

These results, complemented by previous studies, suggest the possibility of developing dietary recommendations based on the traditional dietary model of Galicia and northern Portugal and extending similar recommendations to other European countries, given that the Atlantic diet is not significantly different from their diets. .

The study is titled “South European Atlantic Diet and All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality: A European Multi-Cohort Study.” And it was published in the academic journal European Journal Preventive Cardiology. (Source: UAM)

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