Background: Dyslipidemia is one of the major causes of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) and a Mediterranean Diet (MD) is recommended for its prevention. The objectives of this study were to evaluate adherence to an MD at baseline and follow-up, in a cohort of dyslipidemic patients, and to evaluate how different food intakes can influence lipid profile, especially how different sources of saturated fatty acids impact lipid phenotype.
Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted on 106 dyslipidemic patients. Clinical characteristics, lipid profile, and food habits data were collected at baseline and after three months of follow-up with counseling. Adherence to an MD was evaluated with a validated food-frequency questionnaire (MEDI-LITE score).
Results: The cross-sectional analysis showed that higher consumption of dairy products correlated independently with higher levels of total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and with lower triglycerides (TG) levels. Instead, lower HDL-C and TG levels and higher TC levels were independently associated with higher consumption of meat products. Adherence to an MD significantly improved after the follow-up period, from a mean value of 10 ± 3 (median 10, IQR 8–12) to 13 ± 2 (median 14, IQR 12–15), p < 0.0001.
Conclusions: Dyslipidemic patients benefit from counseling for improving their adherence to an MD. The high intake of dairy products was associated with less atherogenic hyperlipidemia, which was characterized by higher levels of TC and HDL-C as compared withs the intake of an excessive amount of meat products, which was associated with higher levels of TC and TG and lower levels of HDL-C.
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