a plate with fish and veggies, eat the Mediterranean way, low-carb diet wins

The Mediterranean diet has been associated with a number of health benefits. We have written previously about studies showing that a Mediterranean-style eating plan can protect the brain, reduce arthritis pain, lower the likelihood of a heart attack and improve the chance of success with in-vitro fertilization. New research from the University of Navarra in Spain confirms that people who eat the Mediterranean way are healthier (Carlos et al, Nutrients, March 31, 2018). A traditional Mediterranean-style diet is rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains and fish. People eating a Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) use olive oil as their primary fat and consume wine in moderation, with meals. They eat only small amounts of dairy products, meat and sweets.

This is not a randomized controlled trial like the PREDIMED study was. Instead, it followed people who graduated from the University every year since 1999. They provided information on their health, lifestyles and eating patterns. More than 22,000 individuals participated over two decades. Because all of the participants are university graduates, the scientists controlled for educational and economic diversity.

If You Eat the Mediterranean Way, What Are the Health Benefits?

Those who followed eating patterns that most closely resembled a classic Mediterranean diet were less likely to die from any cause during the study. They were also less likely to develop cardiovascular disease. They had lower average heart rates and were less likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Even those who were overweight appeared to be somewhat protected from the risk of diabetes if they followed a Mediterranean eating pattern closely.

Moreover, people sticking to the MedDiet were less likely to report depression. Physical and social activity that are also typical of a Mediterranean lifestyle were also protective for both physical and mental health problems.

Learn More:

Would you like to learn to eat the Mediterranean way? You can find out more about how to do this in our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies.

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  1. Diane

    I have used milk of magnesia for about a year now and it works great! I only wish ihad known forty years sooner.

  2. Gaylene

    If steroid/cortisone shots are not benefiting to most people, then why are doctors still giving the shots? They should not be allowed anymore, according to all these replies. Do ME doctors just want more and more moMary for procedures.

  3. Bob
    South Carolina

    Italy ranks 6th in life expectancy and France ranks 9th with a difference in average life of only 0.3 year. The diets of these two countries are very different so what do say about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet?

  4. Poppy
    Chico, CA

    Today for the first time there are many ads in my People’s Pharmacy Newsletter. What can I or you do to get rid of them? They seem to be from Mediavine. Thanks. Poppy

  5. Marilynn
    NE Illinois

    Everyone keeps pushing fish, fish, fish. But MANY of us are allergic to fish and/or seafood. Why are there never any mentions of this? And why aren’t alternatives suggested? You are not being very helpful by mentioning only fish!

  6. REAL

    Some years ago, I started to do the Mediterranean diet without trying to lose any weight, although I knew I was overweight. Within a month or two (I wasn’t even keeping track of it.) When I received a new pair of pants by using the usual dimensions, I was greatly surprised to find that I had lost 25 lbs & 5 inches off my tummy! And I had been eating all the unsweetened peanut butter and olive oil I wanted. That was very convincing! And it has effortlessly been kept off since. Now some years later I eat quite a bit of cheeses; if the French cheat a lot, why can’t I??

  7. Jane

    Don’t forget Mediterranean Herbs – such as rosemary, marjoram, thyme! You had a researcher on your show some months ago, who believed we were neglecting this area and was studying it along with the Mediterranean diet generally, in Italian village populations.

    He said these herbs grew abundantly (as they do in much of the USA) and were consumed daily. Americans don’t seem to cook with herbs much either, so this bears repeating. I use herbs a lot myself and believe they are doing me good.

  8. Will

    Often lost in the discussion of this diet is that the original studies were decades ago of people on Crete. They ate a lot less food overall than most of those in modern societies, and they generally got plenty of exercise. This is not to say that this is a bad diet, but so often people compensate for perceived good deeds by compensating behavior: Eating too much “healthy food”, or driving fast because they have a hybrid car.

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