The Mediterranean Diet

A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine was just released to the public and is already spreading like wildfire, and for good reason. Not only does the study recommend at least 7 glasses of wine a week (which seems to be the main source of excitement) but it basically debunks the entire “low-fat diet” that has long been recommended. Quite interesting, eh? The New York Times article started right off with the hook, “About 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they switch to a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, and even drink wine with meals”. The Atlantic has even done a piece discussing what they thought were the highlights of the study. Articles from all sources seem to point to the fact that what was long recommended is no longer valid and what was long considered by our ancestors is what should be practiced today.

As the journal states:

The traditional Mediterranean diet is characterized by a high intake of olive oil, fruit, nuts, vegetables, and cereals; a moderate intake of fish and poultry; a low intake of dairy products, red meat, processed meats, and sweets; and wine in moderation, consumed with meals. In observational cohort studies and a secondary prevention trial (the Lyon Diet Heart Study),increasing adherence to the Mediterranean diet has been consistently beneficial with respect to cardiovascular risk. A systematic review ranked the Mediterranean diet as the most likely dietary model to provide protection against coronary heart disease. Small clinical trials have uncovered plausible biologic mechanisms to explain the salutary effects of this food pattern. We designed a randomized trial to test the efficacy of two Mediterranean diets (one supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and another with nuts), as compared with a control diet (advice on a low-fat diet), on primary cardiovascular prevention.

Recommended in Mediterranean diet

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(New England Journal of Medicine)

Discouraged in Mediterranean diet

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(New England Journal of Medicine)
Of course, we must remember that diet is a lifestyle and not a temporary adjustment. In my house we try and stay away from red meat, we drink red wine regularly, eat fish as often as possible, and use olive oil like it’s going out of style. I had heard someone say years ago that if we just ate the way Jesus ate we’d all be healthier. Well here it is in black and white. I know that I post a lot about diet and lifestyle but I honestly care about each and every one of you. I want people to experience all this life has to offer and not be held back by their health. Thoughts?