Mediterranean Month: Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

Oldways, the preeminent promoter of the Mediterranean diet,  proclaims May to be “Mediterranean Month.”  The idea is to spread awareness of the traditional Mediterranean diet. 

In addition to “it just plain tastes good,” I’m a Mediterranean diet advocate because of the potential health benefits.

Relatively strong evidence supports the Mediterranean diet’s association with:

  • increased lifespan
  • lower rates of cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and strokes
  • lower rates of cancer (prostate, breast, uterus, colon)
  • lower rates of dementia
  • lower incidence of type 2 diabetes

Weaker supporting evidence points to associations with:

  • slowed progression of dementia
  • lower severity of type 2 diabetes, as judged by diabetic drug usage
  • less risk of developing obesity
  • better blood pressure control in the elderly
  • improved weight loss and weight control in type 2 diabetics
  • less risk of metabolic syndrome
  • improved control of asthma
  • lower rates and severity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • lower risk of gastric (stomach) cancer
  • less risk of macular degeneration
  • less Parkinsons disease
  • increased chance of pregnancy in women undergoing fertility treatment
  • lower incidence of asthma and allergy-like symptoms in children of women who followed the Mediterranean diet while pregnant

For ideas on moving your diet in a Mediterranean direction, why not visit this page at one of my other websites, or the Oldways site?  You don’t have to go “full Mediterranean” to gain some of the health benefits.  Just taking a couple steps in that direction should help. 

Diabetics concerned about the relatively high carbohydrate content in the Mediterranean diet should consider the Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet

Also check out Oldways blog, The Oldways Table.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Disclaimer:  All matters regarding your health require supervision by a personal physician or other appropriate health professional familiar with your current health status.  Always consult your personal physican before making any dietary or exercise changes.


Filed under Health Benefits, Mediterranean Diet

2 responses to “Mediterranean Month: Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

  1. Steve

    I recommend the blog authors’ book, “The Advanced Mediterranean Diet” as an excellent way to incorporate the Mediterranean Diet if you have a weight loss goal in mind.


  2. Many thanks for the endorsement, Steve!

    Unfortunately, many of the measurements I use in that book are U.S. Customary instead of metric.

    E.g., ounces instead of grams, pounds instead of kilograms.

    Any revised/updated version will have both, as will future books.

    I’m thinking globally now.