People at risk of heart disease or stroke might be better off eating a Mediterranean diet than taking statins, new research suggests.
A study looked at the effects of the diet, rich in vegetables, fish, fruits, nuts, whole grains and monounsaturated fatty acids - better known as olive oil.
Professor Giovanni de Gaetano, of the IRCCS Neuromed Institute in Pozzilli, Italy, said that until now, research has focused on the general population "which is mainly composed of healthy people."
So, what happens to people who have already suffered from cardiovascular disease? Is the Mediterranean diet optimal for them too? The answer appeared to be yes, with the experts finding it cut the chances of early death by more than a third.
Professor de Gaetano said: "We found that among those with a higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet, death from any cause was reduced by 37% in comparison to those who poorly adhered to this dietary regime."