The Mediterranean Diet hit another healthy home run with 2 new studies adding to its long and successful record on the disease-fighting front. A slew of former studies have established this delicious dietary pattern (high in plant foods, fish, olive oil, moderate in red wine, and low in meat) as beneficial for heart health, cancer protection, and overall mortality. According to the September issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, type 2 diabetics seem to benefit too. For the study, one group of newly diagnosed diabetics was placed on a Mediterranean diet and the other a low-fat diet. After 4 years, those on the Mediterranean diet were 37% less likely to require diabetes medication versus those on the low-fat diet. Those on the Mediterranean diet also benefited from more weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure readings compared to those in the low-fat group.
In the second report, 1850 elderly New Yorkers were followed for over 14 years. Those eating in accordance with a Mediterranean regimen, who also exercised regularly, enjoyed a 60% reduction in the risk of getting Alzheimer’s versus those who didn’t engage in either healthy habit. (JAMA, Aug 09) I am a committed “Mediterrian” – and equally as passionate about the taste of my food as I am making sure that almost everything that crosses my lips will make me healthier tomorrow than I am today.