It seems as if people are always looking for the perfect diet. But, it often alludes us. We either feel deprived of food or don’t want to eat what we can have. Worse yet, there are the diets that just don’t work!
For years, I have been hearing good things about the Mediterranean diet. This is the diet primarily followed by people that live in the southern regions of Italy, Greece, and Spain. It includes a lot of fruit and vegetables along with olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fish, dairy, meat (but not red), and yes, even wine. The diet is also low on processed foods.
This week, the Mediterranean diet got a big boost from a study that gave it glowing reviews. The study, funded by the Spanish government and published in the New England Journal of Medicine studied a group of men and women between the ages of 55 and 80. These subjects were randomly given either a low-fat fiet or one of two variations of the Mediterranean diet, one featuring more olive oil than the other and one featuring more nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts).
One thing some of us might find good about this study was it didn’t limit calorie intake nor require the subjects to do a certain amount of exercise.
The study found that those that followed either of the Mediterranean diets were 30 percent less likely to suffer from heart attacks, strokes, or death caused by other cardiovascular diseases. The study was so successful that the researchers ended it early because the results were that obvious.
Steve Nissen, chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, told The New York Times, “Now along comes this group and does a gigantic study in Spain that says you can eat a nicely balanced diet with fruits and vegetables and olive oil and lower heart disease by 30 percent, And you can actually enjoy life.”
Sounds like a good diet to check out if you ask me!