As reported this week in the New York Times, the classic Mediterranean Diet has again been shown to have very positive effects in preventing heart attack and stroke. This study looked at people at high risk for these diseases, in fact they were already on diabetes, stroke and heart medications. It is reported that additional (and more difficult to perform) study needs to be done on people at lower risk for cardiovascular disease.
It is a simple approach to eating pretty much what is locally available in Greece and the southern European countries. Whole Foods should be marketing and selling Mediterranean meals to go! Dropping the word “diet” would be helpful in the marketing and sales campaign!
The study design used only 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil/day and a mixture of walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds. Fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes (lentils,beans, peas), white meat and fish, no processed foods, and low amounts of dairy products and red meat are the mainstay. 7 glasses of wine/week was included for those who tolerated it.
The weather in Greece, southern Italy and Spain is a lot like southern California and great for growing delicious fruits and vegetables. Low humidity, cool evenings and lots of sunshine is so nice....and healthy!