High Marks for the Mediterranean Diet

Ellen Haas Health Guide
  • It is noteworthy that new research results from a large study of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) reaffirms the good news about the Mediterranean Diet. The study shows that those individuals who followed a Mediterranean diet had significantly lower death rates from cancer and cardiovascular disease in both men and women.


    Scientists have conducted many studies of the eating patterns that are characteristic of the Mediterranean Diet for over 50 years. And they have found that certain Mediterranean-eating patterns were connected to good health and longevity. Over the years there has grown a large body of scientific evidence supporting the link to good health so that now it is referred to as the "Gold Standard" for healthy dietary patterns.

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    The new study is significant because it is the first study of Americans and it confirms its life-extending benefits. NCI followed 380,000 men and women for 10 years. Those that followed the Mediterranean Diet were healthier and lived longer.


    The foods of the Mediterranean Diet are delicious and diverse. If you haven't already made them part of your everyday eating, it is time that you explored its variety. The Mediterranean Diet is not rigid or prescriptive but includes these good foods:

    • Plenty of fruits and vegetables - (fresh, local and organic are my picks)
    • Lots of fish, particularly salmon, trout and sardines and only small amounts of red meat. In fact beef or pork is used as a garnish instead of as a main dish.
    • Whole grains
    • Healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
    • Wine in Moderate amounts

    A key to the diet is that it includes healthy fats such as the monounsaturated fat that is found in olive oil. These fats give you that nice satisfied, feeling of fullness though you have cut down on calories.


    Also of benefit is that the Mediterranean Diet is rich in antioxidants because you are eating more fruits and vegetables, less meat and the addition of some wine. Also, of benefit is the omega 3 fatty acids that comes from eating more fish.


    What changes are you making to eat more like the Mediterranean? What are your favorite foods that fit into the Mediterranean Diet? Here are a few delicious recipes from Ellen's Healthy Table that show how delicious this diet can be:



Published On: April 16, 2008