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More good news about the Mediterranean diet

Now the summer is well on the way, what better time to hear that all those extra virgin olive oil salad dressings really are good for us, and can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes?

The good news comes from a new review of research on the Mediterranean diet that combined and analysed the results of 50 studies in more than 500,000 people. Among the most notable findings were that those eating the diet had lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar and higher levels of ‘good’ cholesterol.

The study also found an overall reduction in symptoms of metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of risk factors that increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.

Lifestyle changes, especially alterations in diet and stepping up physical activity, are already well-known ways to prevent metabolic syndrome and, thus, to lessen the likelihood of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

But adding in the Mediterranean diet, with its high concentration of good oils, containing monosaturated fatty acids, it seems, can really put a spring in your step and delay the signs of ageing.

Along with olives and olive oil, eating the Mediterranean way means also getting lots of fruit into your diet, along with cereals, oily fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel, fresh vegetables (organic if you can get them), poultry, nuts and beans. Cutting back on red meat and alcohol also helps.

Take a look at the pyramid at the top of this page, for a simplified way of following the Mediterranean diet. It shows the proportions of foods you should be eating.

Bon appetit!

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