Portuguese American Journal

Atlantic Diet | Portuguese gastronomy inspires new diet trend – JAMA

A recent study published in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) has determined that after researchers looked at 574 participants over six months, the traditional diet of northern Portugal and northwestern Spain may be beneficial for heart health and lowering the risk of dying early from cancer. 

The study “Southern European Traditional Atlantic Diet,” published on February 7, 2014, may also improve the incidence of metabolic syndrome, a combination of higher blood pressure, systolic blood pressure, blood sugars, triglycerides, belly fat (that raises the risk of coronary heart disease), stroke and other serious health conditions such as diabetes (lower insulin and insulin resistance) and helping with weight gain by lowering body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference.

Portuguese grilled sardines

The diet, which emphasizes eating extra-virgin olive and oily fish packed with omega-3 fatty acids, also recommends fresh fish, particularly cod, red meat and pork (sparingly), dairy, legumes, fresh vegetables, potatoes, whole-grain bread, beans, seeds, dried fruits and nuts, and moderate wine consumption.

Eating cod, legumes and vegetables was particularly beneficial in lowering blood pressure, while fish in general helps reduce levels of triglycerides, a blood fat that contributes to the hardening of the arteries and heart disease.

The Atlantic diet also focuses on home-cooked food served family style, recommending mindful eating such as socializing with friends and family over meals.

Similar to the Mediterranean diet, the Atlantic diet also helps protect the planet in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the study’s authors noted.

One of the main differences between the Atlantic diet and the Mediterranean diet is that the Atlantic version incorporates more brassicas, which is a family of vegetables that includes turnip greens, turnips, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower.

JAMA is a peer-reviewed medical journal published 48 times a year by the American Medical Association. It publishes original research, reviews, and editorials covering all aspects of biomedicine. The journal established in 1883 is the world’s most widely circulated general medical journal, with more than 125,000 recipients of the print journal, more than 2.2 million recipients of electronic tables of contents and alerts, and over 30 million annual visits to the journal’s website.


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