Mediterranean Diet

Sustain a healthy retirement

Table from medical study showing Mediterranean diet recommendationsIt is probably not news to most people that medical studies continue to reinforce the benefits of the “Mediterranean Diet”. A recent report by Yahoo news cites a study released March 15, 2015 at the American College of Cardiology’s 64th Annual Scientific Session in San Diego, California. This “ten-year study says that adults who abide by the Med diet could be 47 percent less likely to develop heart disease compared to those who don’t.” The beauty of this diet according a study author is that “because the Mediterranean diet is based on food groups that are quite common or easy to find, people around the world could easily adopt this dietary pattern and help protect themselves against heart disease with very little cost…”

Time Magazine recently reported on a study which was published in 2013 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study began in 2009 but ended early because the results were so impressive. Time reports that “Those who followed one of the versions of the Mediterranean diet, which was high in fat, had about a 30% lower risk of having a heart attack or stroke and a similar reduction in risk of dying of heart disease after five years.”

You can read the full study Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet for yourself. I’ll leave it to others to critique the methodology and statistical methods. I looked for the conclusion. The study report ends by stating:

In conclusion, in this primary prevention trial, we observed that an energy-unrestricted Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, resulted in a substantial reduction in the risk of major cardiovascular events among high-risk persons. The results support the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

You can download the study as a PDF too. I actually recommend this. Table 1 (reproduced to the left) in the study provides a summary of the dietary recommendations made to study participants which will be very useful in assessing your own dietary regimen.

For more on the Mediterranean diet and other healthy eating recommendations go to the University of Maryland medical reference guide on heart healthy diets. This site provides a lot of information so take time to read it. You’ll have to scroll down some to get to the Mediterranean diet section. It clearly states; “Seniors who combine a Mediterranean diet with healthy lifestyle habits have been found to live longer lives.  Many studies confirm that the Mediterranean diet is as good as or better than a low-fat diet for preventing heart attack, stroke, or other heart events.”

This is not difficult to implement. I did a search on “Mediterranean diet recipes”. There is no end to them. The key of course is that this is not a one-time thing to do for a few weeks to lose weight or until you get bored. It is a permanent change.

Eat more fish

Harvard Health reports that eating fish is linked to fewer heart attacks. “If you like fish, eating at least two servings a week may keep your heart in good shape. ” It probably works even if you don’t like fish. Read the report.

50 Healthiest Foods

Time Magazine just published their list of the 50 healthiest foods.  The introduction says: “TIME has curated a list of the 50 healthiest foods you should be eating now.” Each item is accompanied by an explanation of its benefits and a sample recipe for the magazine, Cooking Light. Check it out.

Dr. Dean Ornish on High-Protein Diets

Dr. Dean Ornish,  a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco, was recently interviewed on CBS morning news. Ornish has focused on healthy lifestyle and diets for years. Link to the interview and his NY Times piece.

Nuts are a nutritional powerhouse

This is the headline in a recent New York Times blogpost. It cites a number of studies, one of which was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. As the Times states it, this study “…found that the more nuts people consumed, the less likely they were to die at any given age, especially of cancer or heart disease.”   You can read the NEJM report for yourself.

For links to more information on diet and nutrition click on this page.