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Researchers laud diet

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WASHINGTON, Jun 26, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A Mediterranean-style diet of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and fish cuts risk of fatal cancer or heart disease by 25 percent.

That's the word from researchers in a study published Thursday, the Washington Post reported.

This is the first large trial of healthy men and women to demonstrate a significant reduction in death rates for heart disease, cancer and all other causes of premature mortality for those who follow a Mediterranean diet and are physically active. It confirms what scientists have believed for decades.

"In the past, when we talked about the Mediterranean diet, we usually talked about cardiovascular benefits," Frank Hu, associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, said. "This is talking about primary prevention."

The results suggest a middle course between the often confusing diet extremes, from the very low-carbohydrate, high-fat Atkins approach to the higher carbohydrate, low-fat U.S. dietary guidelines.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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