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Mediterranean Diet Guide Part 2: The Science Behind the Diet

Mediterranean Diet dirty dozen

With so many types of diets out there, it can be difficult to determine which ones work and which don’t, or which are healthy and which are not. To help you out, we are providing a multi-part guide to understand the Mediterranean diet, which is recommended by our oncology dietitians. Part 2 of this series will help you understand the science behind the diet and why it’s so healthy.

If you missed part 1, you can read it here.

What the Research Shows

Researchers are continually analyzing individual foods, but studies have repeatedly shown that a healthy diet is more than the sum of its nutrient parts. In 1995 a study of the “whole diet” approach was published by Antonia Trichopoulou, Walter Willet, Frank Sacks, and others, where they analyzed the original Oldways Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.

The study analyzed the benefits of a diet “characterized by abundant plant foods (fruit, vegetables, breads, other forms of cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts, and seeds) fresh fruit as the typical daily dessert,

olive oil as the principal source of fat, dairy products (principally cheese and yogurt), and fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts, zero to four eggs consumed weekly, red meat consumed in low amounts, and wine consumed in low to moderate amounts, normally with meals.”

In subsequent years, evidence supporting the benefits of the Mediterranean diet has grown. Such as:

  • Lengthen your life
  • Prevent asthma
  • Fight certain cancers
  • Protect from diabetes
  • Keep away depression
  • Prevent chronic diseases
  • Nurture healthier babies
  • Prevent Parkinson’s disease
  • Aid in weight loss and management efforts
  • Lower risk of heart disease and high blood pressure

Looking to incorporate some elements of the Mediterranean diet into your diet? Try this oncology dietitian-approved recipe for Microwaved Poached Salmon with Sour Cream Sauce. For more recipes and info about nutrition services offered at the Community Cancer Center, click here.

Source: Oldways

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