A Mediterranean diet of olive oil and nuts can help reverse a condition suffered by about one in four adults which leaves them at risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Metabolic syndrome is the presence of three or more factors like large waist, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides and high blood sugar.
Researchers in Spain have found that men and women between 55-80 years old benefitted from a diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and nuts.
More than two thirds of the group of 5,801 people had metabolic syndrome.
The researchers found that after almost five years the people who used the olive oil or the nuts had lost weight and dropped blood sugar levels to the point where 28.2pc no longer had metabolic syndrome.
The study is published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.