An exciting new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that you can lower your risk of heart attacks and strokes by nearly 30 percent by simply switching to a Mediterranean-style diet, consisting primarily of olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits, vegetables, and even glasses of wine with meals!

This flies in the face of conventional Western wisdom that low-fat diets are the most effective at lowering the chances of heart disease, but according to the scientists performing the study, the results were overwhelming.

Rather than looking at the blood levels of cholesterol in their participants, they looked at the hard facts of how many people experienced strokes, heart attacks, and death. With 7,447 participants, this was a very large, well-coordinated study that will be hard to disprove. Still, the scientists who organized the study and analyzed the results say that there is much more examination of the facts to be done before any concrete results can be announced, but they were stunned by how dramatic the change was, compared to a typical Western diet.

Dr. Ramon Estruch, who helped conduct the study, believes that the results come from a combination of all of the elements of the Mediterranean diet, rather than any one individual item. This means that you can’t simply work one extra thing into your diet to reap the benefits of this amazing finding, but that you would need to change your diet entirely.

Still, a hearty, delicious Mediterranean diet is much more palatable than a typical low-fat diet!