It’s not just about eating more fish and using olive oil. To get the health benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet, you need to embrace the lifestyle.
Many researchers have found that those living in the Mediterranean have a lower risk of certain types of disease. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that incorporating more olive oil and nuts may help reduce the risk of heart disease by about 30% in folks who are at high risk. Since the release of this study in April 2013 the popularity of the Mediterranean diet has skyrocketed—and with good reason. On top of incorporating many good-for-you foods, the cuisine is pretty darn tasty.
Countries in the Mediterranean like Spain, Italy and Greece are surrounded by water, making fish widely available and one of the main sources of protein. Mediterranean dishes incorporate fresh herbs and spices, olive oil, nuts, and fresh fruits and vegetables, which are frequently grown locally (within the country). A glass of wine is often enjoyed with meals.
Folks living in the Mediterranean tend to drink soda sparingly and eat little red meat, processed food, commercial baked goods, sweets and pastries.