Have you ever wondered makes the Mediterranean diet so successful? It’s simple: It makes common sense.
Like most people, I have always tried to shed a few pounds by trying the latest diet craze. As a nutritionist, I tend to look at diets differently. For the most part, any diet that cuts out or radically reduces an essential food item is – in my opinion – rather sketchy. Sure, I realize that many nutritionists and doctors regularly attest to the benefits of certain diet fads or diet supplements. Nevertheless, most of their claims do not stand up to scrutiny.
Personally, I have that the practical evidence has always been lacking REGARDLESS of the SCIENCE behind their often outrageous claims. Mind you, I always pay attention to the science behind nutritional claims, but many of these claims are exaggerated, distorted or simply wrong.
The evidence is quite clear, the healthiest people in the western world tend to live in Mediterranean countries. The diet – read lifestyle – of these people consists of an abundance of seasonal vegetables and fruits, fish and white meat and olive oil. Until recently, factory processed foods were not consumed in these countries.
The New York Times recently published an opinion piece by Paul Greenberg “On How to Get America on the Mediterranean Diet.” Mr. Greenberg points out the diet of most American is skewed toward factory-processed food and meat raised in conditions that can hardly be described as “natural.”
Medical research over the last half-century has largely borne out this initial finding. Weight-loss fads and eating trends come and go, but the so-called Mediterranean diet has stood fast. “Among all diets,” Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health concluded in an email, “the traditional Mediterranean diet is most strongly supported for delivering long term health and wellbeing.”
While there are many who take exception to Mr. Greenberg’s assessment, he is correct in insisting that there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that the Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle change that will help one get off the never-ending cycle of diet crazes.
Read Mr. Greenberg’s article and make up your own mind. Let’s face it, the Mediterranean lifestyle seems natural and avoids the pitfalls of being over-programmed by questionable scientific claims.