New Secrets of the Mediterranean Diet

New Secrets of the Mediterranean Diet

Bonjour everyone!  Sorry I’m so late posting today. It’s been a VERY busy morning. I first want to say farewell to the King of Pop Michael Jackson – you were an icon to generations and will be missed by millions. And, just as ABBA said, Thank you for the music!

My morning run was not the greatest today. After only 5 hours of sleep, I even debated not running. I should have listened to reason.

This morning I was really in the mood for peanut butter, so I made a toasted whole grain English muffin spread with 1 tablespoon PB and a little raspberry jam – delish! And, because of the recent news about the Mediterranean diet, I also decided to start my day with a big bowl of fresh fruit – complete with cantaloupe and blueberries- juicy!

Fruit - A Mediterranean superfood.

My yummy fruit medley.

What? You haven’t heard the news about the Mediterranean diet? 

WHAT THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET IS NOT

Before I get to the news, first let me point out that the Mediterranean diet is not a real diet, as in to go on a diet. It is rather meant to describe the foods that people in the Mediterranean eat on a regular basis.

9 MAIN COMPONENTS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET

For all practical purposes, the standard Mediterranean diet includes the following:

  1. Moderate alcohol intake
  2. Limited red meat
  3. Fish and seafood
  4. Olive oil
  5. Vegetables
  6. Fruits
  7. Nuts
  8. Cereals
  9. Limited dairy

Now that that’s clear, here’s the latest – A brand new study in the British Medical Journal once again found that the main components of the Mediterranean diet can have significant health benefits. I know, I know, scientists have noted the many health benefits of the Mediterranean diet before, but this is new news. And plus, I can never really get enough news about this diet – I find it so fascinating.

Legumes are one of the Mediterranean superfoods.

Legumes are one of the Mediterranean superfoods.

EAT THIS, NOT THAT

This time, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Athens found that within the Mediterranean diet, some of the foods may provide more benefits than the others.

Over the course of about 8 1/2 years, researchers 23,000 Greek men and women compared the health of the participants as they followed a Mediterranean diet. Here’s what they found…

In regards to overall health benefits, the lowest performers were…

  • High intake of fish
  • High intake of cereals
  • Low intake of dairy

While the superstars or the highest performers were...

  • Moderate consumption of alcohol (mostly in the form of wine)
  • Low consumption of meat
  • High consumption of veggies, fruit, nuts, olive oil, and legumes

A GRAIN OF SALT….

Please note that this is not the end-all, be-all study. The researchers did point out that the results of the study are not universal, meaning they may not find the same results in other populations, or even within the same population. In fact, experts independent of the study point out that the Harvard study leaves out a very important feature of the Mediterranean diet – what the diet does not include, such as foods that contain high amounts of sugar and preservatives.

So, as you can see, that is why I started my day with a big bowl of fruit – and the peanut butter didn’t hurt either!

If you’re feeling a bit saucy today, take a gander at these yummy Mediterranean inspired menus and recipes courtesy of The Food Network Canada.

Ta for now – I’m off to the market to pick up a few of my Mediterranean favorites!

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