The Mediterranean diet is the best kind of diet. Are we biased? Hell no! There’s scientific proof behind our words. The New York Times wellness reporter Dani Blum dug into the whys and hows of one of the world’s most recognizable diets. Be sure to check out her excellent piece “The Mediterranean Diet Really Is That Good for You. Here’s Why”.
While wellness and health consciousness might be a recent trend, the Mediterranean diet is by no means new. Millions of people living around the Mediterranean basin have followed it for millennia. Unlike other diet schemes out there, the Mediterranean diet wasn’t invented and marketed by some corporations to make money. In fact, according to Dr. Sean Heffron, a preventive cardiologist at NYU Langone Health:
“It’s something that was developed over time, by millions of people, because it actually tastes good. And it just happens to be healthy.”
What is the Mediterranean diet, then?
Registered dietician Julia Zumpano says:
“the Mediterranean diet isn’t so much a strict meal plan as it is a lifestyle.”
At its core, the Mediterranean diet consists of foods your grandparents would recognize. This means unprocessed foods without additives. Seasonal fruits and vegetables, of course. Then whole grains like pasta or rice for a source of good carbs and fiber. The proteins of choice are fish rich in Omega-3s, such as mackerel and anchovies, abundantly available in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. And then splurge with the good fats, the ones packed with antioxidants: read extra virgin olive oil and nuts like almonds or hazelnuts.
As Ms. Zumpano sums it:
“it’s very easy to follow, very sustainable, very realistic.”
Some other additions are allowed in moderation, such as food high in saturated fat (red meat and dairy products) and the sacred glass of wine, one a day. What more could you want from a diet plan? Well, maybe just a reliable source for all these healthy foods, a Mediterranean diet box. We put together canned San Marzano tomatoes with their heart protective power of lycopene, polyphenol bomb real extra virgin olive oil, the so-called nutritional powerhouse anchovy colatura, the best alternative to white flour pasta Sicilian Busiate, and so much more..
What’s the science behind the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet is one of the few diets out there that actually has the research to back it up. Beginning in the 1950s, researchers across the globe analyzed the diets and lifestyles of thousands of middle aged men in what is known as “The Seven Countries Study”. Those who lived in the Mediterranean had lower rates of cardiovascular disease than those who lived elsewhere. The diet they followed, what we now call the Mediterranean diet, seemed to have a protective effect.
Dani, we loved your article. The Mediterranean diet is healthy, intuitive, and most importantly tastes darn good. All the more so when you’re using top-notch ingredients!