Get Him to the Greek

30 12 2010

Hello to everyone as we wind down 2010.  For today’s post, thought I would throw out some info in support of “Eating like the Greeks.”  Many of you have probably heard of the Mediterranean Diet and that it is supposed to be healthy.  There are various studies which show that following such a diet likely lowers risk for cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attacks and strokes, as well as diabetes.  New studies also show that adherance to such a diet likely slows cognitive decline as well.  See here:  So that means that if we follow this diet, we should have lower risk of developing conditions like Alzheimer’s, possibly Parkinsons, and other forms of dementia associated with aging.  This lower risk is likely the result of the high level of antioxidants found in the Mediterranean diet. 

So what is so special about this diet?  Most (mainstream) diets touted as healthy today have several similarities.  Primarily all, including the Mediterranean diet, are a plant-based diet rich in fruits and veggies, that also recommend whole grain breads (more fiber) and cereals as opposed to the more U.S. traditional refined (white) bread, rice and pasta.  Typically saturated fat is limited as well.   Some specific recommendations more unique to the Mediterranean diet include the following:

  1. Stronger recommendation in favor of certain types of fat, or sources of fat, as opposed to the recommendations limiting fat.  Promotes lots of nuts and using olive oil in place of butter and margarines, so essentially a diet high in the heart healthy Monounsaturated fat, as well as polyunsaturated fat.
  2. A stronger recommendation in favor of fish, at least twice weekly, and against red meat, only a few times monthly.
  3. Probably a little stronger emphasis given to nuts and legumes (see #1 above.)
  4. The spices used in Mediterranean cooking not only substitute for less healthy butter and salt AND taste great, but often contain very healthy nutrients as well, such as different sources of antioxidants.
  5. And of course the Mediterranean diet includes red wine most days, which is helpful if you are able to limit yourself to about 5 ounces for women, and 10 ounces for men, daily.  We are learning more and more about the healthy effects of red wine (see Resveratrol) and other alcohols, ALWAYS IN MODERATION, all the time.

For more info on the specifics of Mediterranean diet see the Mayo Clinic website here:

So Happy New Year, and celebrate with a nice glass of red wine or two, instead of the shot of Jaegermeister!




2 responses

30 12 2010

Good advice, doc. I try to adhere to this especially when traveling and forced to eat out (work has me on the road several times a month). The fish, well still working on 2 servings a week, so decided if I could at least start with one every 2 weeks, it will get me there…eventually. Just haven’t quite developed a taste for the kinds they want me to have.

Here’s to a happier and healthier new year!

17 01 2011
Steve Harpe

This really works!! Jody has been trying to get our family on this eating plan (or one very similar) for some time. Now that we are active again, I have lost 11 lbs (so far) with a combo of this diet and trying to get a 30 minute sweat every day. Keep it coming Dane!!!

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