I am a big fan of the Mediterranean diet, diet being the way Greeks eat rather than some sort of fad. Typically, it is high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and oils and low in animal products and processed foods (and moderate in alcohol, which I am sure interests some!). The health benefits have been noted for years but a recent study was just published in The British Medical Journal. Here is a link to an ABC news story which outlines each diet staple from alcohol to dairy. I found this fun to read and hope you will too.
The biggest benefit we see to eating a Mediterranean diet is a reduction in metabolic syndrome, which can be defined as a cluster of symptoms (insulin resistance, obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol) that puts individuals at a high risk for heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes.
I like how this article points out that once you are eating mostly fruits and vegetables and limiting processed foods, anything else doesn’t make much of a difference. Fruits and vegetables are power houses! That is always the take home message. If you can add more fruits and vegetables you are not only increasing the nutrient density of the foods you are choosing but you are probably also displacing other unhealthier foods. So quit searching for the magic pill, nothing is going to be better for you than eating more fruits and vegetables.
It all goes back to:
1. Fruits and Vegetables
2. Whole Grains
3. Lean Proteins
4. Healthy Fats
Emily Fonnesbeck RD,CD