The Mediterranean Diet: An Overview

Date: November 4th, 2022
Author: Billie Bradshaw

Researchers noticed that people around the Mediterranean area were having fewer incidents of heart disease, lived longer, and were healthier. So, they began to ask the question: Why?

They noticed that this, and other areas of the world called "blue zones," had a common eating practice, or diet, in common. They also noticed other lifestyle similarities including spiritual connection and mental health practices.

One of the unique aspects of this style of eating can be simplified into one word: Fresh. It's very important that the food we eat is fresh and comes from fresh sources.

There is also a lot of diversity and variety in the lifestyle, including eating legumes, gelato in small portions, and a lot of walking between markets and home and other places.

The benefits are staggering. The video goes into it further, but there are health benefits ranging from helping to maintain a healthy weight to helping with inflammation, cancer, and alzheimers. Watch the full video to learn all the great benefits and how to start on this incredibly healthy lifestyle.

the mediterranean diet was named the best diet in 2019 but what is it about this style of eating that helps prevent heart disease and other health problems we've got two insiders with all the answers what happened was uh researchers were observing that people around the mediterranean had lower incidence rates of heart disease so they started investigating what are they doing you know to live a longer and healthier life so that research goes into the study of blue zones which some of them are around the mediterranean but some of them are also around the world and in looking at that they realize there's this lifestyle and the mediterranean eating pattern is what they have in common but there's also some lifestyle such as reduced stress a strong spiritual connection as well and strong social ties so there's these lifestyle factors but a core of it is also what they're eating right absolutely now chef what is unique about this style of eating as you said it's freshness but can you elaborate a little bit on that so it's freshness um i did speak on the species diversity that the diet itself is very rich in legumes which are very heart healthy they contain a lot of fiber which carries a lot of the cholesterol out of the body right provides an excellent source of fuel over the long term you will see things in the diet that are like gelato but the portion size is is it's not a tub of ice it's here not a cup of ice cream it's not a pint it's a little taste just to kind of get you through right um there is a lot of walking so you imagine the cities are not built the old world cities are not built like our cities right um they're very close to the earth and if you need to get bred you go to the baker if you need to get fish you go to the fish purveyor you know so and also walking to work a lot of bicycling and that continues on to this day absolutely they both coexist now we're going to continue this conversation but i do want to remind our viewers that if you have a question for the chef or for lucep please call in that number is four seven 855-796-4475 we'd love to hear from you now i also want to talk about the benefits and we have a great video here from the mayo clinic that talks a little bit about the science behind the diet so let's take a look at that what if i told you there was a diet that could not only help you manage your weight but also could help you live longer it really helps us reduce many diseases not just heart disease also alzheimer's it reduces almost all cancers reduces arthritis it's an anti-inflammatory diet and so you have less joint pain while it may seem too good to be true it's not dr steven kapetsky a mayo clinic cardiologist says it stands up to scrutiny it's one of the most studied diet we have and in tens of thousands of patients and been shown to be very helpful for us it's less restrictive than many fad diets out there it's very easy to do and it can be very inexpensive more fruits and vegetables also more fish in the meats it's really one of the highest fat diets after the keto diet because it's more monounsaturated fat from olive oil avocado oil nuts things like that it more goes back to the way we used to eat you know as many years we've been on this planet dr kapetsky says the mediterranean diet could really improve your health i want to go over the main principles of mediterranean eating and chef if you can help break this down plant-based sure okay so what does that mean so plant-based means the majority of the meals that you're eating are com you're getting the protein from plant sources okay so i mentioned earlier legumes seeds nuts it's also important to remember that everything living has protein right you'll notice that the uh the diets the i'm sorry the recipes um have a lot of vinegar and a lot of things like this in them um that helps your body break it down so you can get to those proteins and it's it also recommends a two times a week fish or seafood correct correct we like that why wouldn't you eat fish if it's right from the sea um fish and seafood um and the fish it's typically prepared uh grilled um or sauteed yes we're not frying or salmon or fish and that is obviously because it has a high concentration of the omega-3 correct correct correct you want to get those omega-3s in your body they're super important they fight inflammation they lead to healthy heart there's also i mean they help help you with your memory and things like that so that's super important to get moderate portions of dairy eggs and poultry let's emphasize that moderate what does that mean sure sure so um an egg a day right that's pretty moderate uh four eggs a day that's excessive right so typically what you'll see when you order an omelette um you'll see it's a three egg omelet yes and that's a lot that's a lot so we should be asking maybe for one or two one or two or um forego the omelet and just get the self-boiled eggs or something like that okay that's a good tip and meat red meat and sweets with red meat they're not recommending they're recommending once a week maybe yeah so i want to just kind of dig into the history red meat is very expensive and resource heavy to to grow and to harvest so typically you won't see cow pastures and things like that you'll see sheep and lamb and you're also getting your dairy from those sheep and lamb so it's harvested around feast times and you know it's it's less prevalent right absolutely okay lucy i want you to help us understand the mediterranean diet pyramid so what is it that we're looking for what is the eating pattern that we're seeing in this pyramid yes so we already started talking about what the mediterranean eating style looks like and now the pyramid helps show it graphically so i like that little line right there we're about to get to that we're going to start with the bottom so notice what's in the largest quantity is that social factor around meals so you see people sharing their meals you see people moving around so we already talked about the mediterranean lifestyle how chef said that people walk to the bakery to pick up their bread you know there's more walking happening so we start with that lifestyle factor at the base of the pyramid then we see that majority of the pyramid visually is plant-based so where do we get our plant-based foods it's from whole grains beans and legumes nuts and seeds and of course last but not least our fruits and our veggies so right that's the majority base of the pyramid and it's very colorful yes yes our fruits our veggies are colorful whole grains i mean how many times do we hear that people want to diet and cut their carbs but look at this way of eating that we know will improve heart health and include longevity it includes your whole grains you can't just cut carbs carbs are not the enemies it's in moderation in moderation okay so notice how yeah that part of the pyramid as we go up a step we talked a little bit right now about seafood american heart association recommends fatty fish twice a week so that's also similar to mediterranean eating style okay um so any seafood specifically fatty fish so we have some examples of like tuna sardines also salmon another one that's not listed here is like herring which may not be as commonly found but any seafood why because it's naturally low in saturated fat and then as we go up the pyramid we see poultry dairy eggs so notice it's just more it's moderate to pyramidal not as frequent okay um maybe cutting back on those omelette eggs but it doesn't mean you have to forgo the omelette all together right at the very top we see sweets and treats so it shows how moderation you know you don't have to be all or nothing it's just more about moderation stronger emphasis on that plant base literally the base of the pyramid and then off to the right side we saw that little wine bottle and water so staying hydrated with water keeping wine if you drink choosing something like wine in moderation which is one glass a day per woman two glass a per day for men and that's only a if you drink and also keep it around social food occasions you can watch more of the interview including a recipe from chef rod knight it's so yummy just download the health channel app remember if you have a question reach out you can send us an email by visiting our website i'll help or give us a call 855 seven 796-4475