A Mediterranean diet - with added olive oil - can reduce the risk of breast cancer in women by two-thirds, a study has suggested.
The diet, which involves a combination of food groups from countries including Italy and Greece, typically advocates swapping butter for oils and reducing meat intake in favour of more fish. An increased amount of fruit and vegetables is also central to the diet.
Researchers compared two groups of women, with one group assigned to follow a Mediterranean diet with either extra olive oil or nuts and the other advised to follow a low-fat diet.
The study found that the women, aged between 60 and 80, who followed the Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin olive oil had a 68 per cent lower risk of malignant breast cancer than those following the low-fat diet. Those following the Mediterranean diet with added nuts showed a “non-significant risk reduction”.