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Mediterranean Diet Boosts Endurance, Says Study

Researchers at Saint Louis University in the US have found that eating a Mediterranean diet can improve exercise endurance in just four days.

In the study, investigators found that participants ran a 5K race 6% faster after eating a Mediterranean diet than after eating a Western diet.

The Mediterranean diet includes whole fruits and vegetables, nuts, olive oil and whole grains, and avoids red and processed meats, dairy, trans and saturated fats and refined sugars.

By comparison, the Western diet is characterized by low intake of fruit, vegetables and unrefined or minimally processed oils and high intakes of trans and saturated fats, dairy, refined sugars, refined and highly processed vegetable oils, sodium and processed foods.

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Senior researcher Dr. Edward Weiss said: “Many individual nutrients in the Mediterranean diet improve exercise performance immediately or within a few days.

“Therefore, it makes sense that a whole dietary pattern that includes these nutrients is also quick to improve performance.

“However, these benefits were also quickly lost when switching to the Western diet, highlighting the importance of long-term adherence to the Mediterranean diet.”

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