A CLASSIC Mediterranean style diet, rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts and fish can reduce the risk of heart disease by 15 per cent, a study claims.
Doctors writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition say that such a diet could have real health benefits.
In the study 212 men and women at moderate risk of heart disease were asked to eat a Mediterranean diet or a standard low-fat diet for three months.
Those eating the Mediterranean diet were asked to eat fish four times a week and red meat only once a week.
Men were allowed two glasses of red wine daily, while women were limited to one.
People on the Mediterranean diet saw their total cholesterol drop by 7.5 percent, and it fell by 4.5 percent in the low-fat diet group.
Using these figures researchers believe overall cardiovascular risk fell by 15 percent with the Mediterranean diet and 9 percent with the low fat diet.