My intent with this blog is to share ideas regarding implementation of the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle for improved health, longer life, and weight management. Additional focus will be on updating what we know about the lifestyle, and how we might improve it.
The traditional Mediterranean diet of the mid-20th century is associated with longer lifespan and lower rates of chronic disease, especially heart attacks, strokes, cancer, dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Only recently has the Mediterranean diet been incorporated into effective weight-loss strategies for overweight people. Wider adherence to Mediterranean-style eating will lead to population-wide improvements in longevity and health, regardless of changes in individual weights.
The traditional Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, fish, olive oil, judicious amounts of wine, with minimal saturated fats. Dairy products are mostly cheese and yogurt. Other characteristics are daily fresh fruits, seasonal locally grown foods with minimal processing, less than four eggs per week, small amounts of red meat, poultry in low to moderate amounts, and concentrated sugars only a few times per week. This traditional diet composition is now much less common in the Mediterranean region, thanks to “modernization,” if not Americanization.
Expert concensus is that the physically active lifestyles of the mid-20th century Mediterraneans also contributed to improved health and longevity. Alas, this active lifestyle is also waning.
I welcome your participation here. You have ideas I have never thought. You have sources unavailable to me. You read books and journals I never see. You have experiences I can only imagine. I simply request that you be polite, refrain from profanity, and try to keep your comments pertinent.
Steve Parker, M.D., December 25, 2007
Update February 13, 2012:
- Nearly all posts are written by Steve Parker, M.D., and are inspired by published scientific research in peer-reviewed journals. All others are clearly marked. Lead authors and the publishing journals are referenced in each post. Dr. Parker’s comments and opinions are demarcated from others, and are based on his medical school training, internship and residency training, his continuing medical education, and over thirty years’ experience in full-time direct patient care.
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Last page modification: February 13, 2012