The Mediterranean Diet – making a global difference
We hear a lot about the Mediterranean Diet. We read about it in newspapers, magazines and there are glossy books full of recipes on the subject. It is commonly described as the gold standard diet for our generation and it is recommended by doctors, governments and the World Health Organisation.
It wins accolades year after year in head to head comparisons of sustainable healthy diets, including being the undisputed US News Best Diet champion for a number of years.
The status of the Mediterranean Diet is based on a substantial sum of evidence showing that following the diet reduces the risk of a broad range of chronic diseases. This way of life protects from heart disease, stroke and many types of cancers as well as reducing the incidence of inflammatory conditions, dementia and many of the effects of ageing.
It is associated with significantly more healthy years of living and can contribute to much better mental health and wellbeing. It is a diet for life, and a lifestyle for the body and mind.
The evidence has gathered pace over decades. Sometimes the results from a large study create a leap forward in our appreciation of the extent to which the Mediterranean Diet exerts its life changing effects, and occasionally this comes to public view in newspapers and magazines.
More often it is the many smaller steps which come from research published by laboratories across the world which provide even greater insight into how and why the diet works.
Some of the more nuanced conclusions from these analyses show us the importance of food production, how ingredients may interact in a meal and how the trillions of bacteria which reside in our gut can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of our dietary choices.
To access the true power of the real Mediterranean Diet we need to understand what constitutes excellence in the diet in a way that is not achieved by most articles or books on the subject. We need to understand about the components in food which can exert profound antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects including the polyphenols which we can see and taste in foods. Not least because it is the happiest of coincidences that with the realisation of excellence comes the greatest enjoyment and sensory pleasure.
When we dig deeper, the extraordinary effects become understandable and we can truly achieve and celebrate the most beneficial and delicious food combinations in the world.