A diet based on the consumption of plenty of fruits and vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, olive oil, fish, and poultry. Moderate wine consumption with meals is also part of the diet. Some of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world occur in Mediterranean countries, even though the diet contains as much fat as the U.S. diet. Most of the fat, however, is in the form of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil and most nuts and omega-3 fatty acids found in many fish and grains. In general, the diet places more emphasis on foods from plant sources than from animal sources. The American Heart Association has found that a diet rich in these foods may help to prevent cardiovascular disease.
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