Club “Med” in Your Kitchen

I mentioned the Mediterranean diet in a previous blog, not because I advocate a certain diet, but because this one offers proven health benefits and tasty food choices (unlike the cottage cheese and grapefruit my mom used to eat for weeks on end in hopes of losing weight). For those not familiar with the Mediterranean way of eating, In Good Health, a newsletter for corporate employees, reports in the February issue that a typical Mediterranean diet is high in “fruits, nuts and legumes; high in fish and monounsaturated oils like olive oil; and low in poultry and red meat.” 1 Did you notice they didn’t mention high in soft drinks, potato chips or pastries?

For you staff-of-life lovers out there, have no fear. You can still eat bread. Mayo Clinic staff writers tell us that “Grains in the Mediterranean region are typically whole grain and usually contain very few unhealthy trans fats, and bread is an important part of the diet there. However, throughout the Mediterranean region, bread is eaten without butter or margarines, which contain saturated or trans fats.” 2

According to In Good Health, type-two diabetics who followed a Mediterranean diet during a four-year study lost weight and lowered their need for medication. Plus, the diet lowers the risk of death from heart disease and cancer.2 Shereen Jegtvig, About.com Guide, writes: “People who live in this region of the Mediterranean…have a much lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer than people in other parts of the world.” 3

Jegtvig also provides great instruction on how to get started eating the Mediterranean way. If you’d like more information, search “Mediterranean diet” on the Web, and you’ll come up with nearly 24 million results. That should keep you busy for a day or two. Becky

In Good Health (Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol. 151, pg. 306).1

The Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mediterranean-diet/CL00011) 2

(http://nutrition.about.com/od/foodfun/a/mediterranean.htm) 3

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