Oldways has put together an article reviewing Mediterranean diet promotional efforts in each of the 50 United States. I’m honored that they focused on me in Arizona. The Oldways website is jam-packed full of practical info on how to move towards the healthy Mediterranean diet pattern.
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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.
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.
I can’t think of any other organization that’s done more than Oldways to spread the gospel about the Mediterranean diet.
In this context, “diet” refers to a habitual way of eating rather than a weight-loss program.
But who is Mediterranean Foods Alliance? From their website, MFA “is a group of devoted partners (health professionals, scientists, food companies, retailers, culinary experts, and media) working together to help people eat better with the Mediterranean Diet.”
Mediterranean Month features include:
* Mediterranean diet recipe contest (with prizes!)
* 7-day Mediterranean diet meal plan
* budget-friendly recipes
* Mediterranean Month Calendar Tips for incorporating the Mediterranean diet into your life
Click on the links in the first paragraph for details.
Steve Parker, M.D.