Mediterranean Diet and the Metabolic Syndrome: The Role of Protein

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The traditional Mediterranean diet is suggested to be associated with the lowest prevalence of metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease, and type 2 diabetes and is suggested to be the optimal diet for the general public. This diet is considered to be a moderate protein diet. It has been suggested that the Mediterranean diet's protein content is partly responsible for the beneficial effects on health, but the level of protein intake to induce a cardioprotective effect is not yet well known. Nevertheless, there are current studies that support the hypothesis that high protein intake, particularly of plant origin, may have beneficial health effects, which provides some insight on the role of protein in modulating cardiovascular disease risk factors. Therefore, in this work current information about the role of the adoption of the traditional Mediterranean diet on the prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome as a risk factor for coronary heart disease is reviewed. Also special attention is given on the influence of protein intake in relation to the incidence of this syndrome.

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