One of my favorite podcasts is “Zorba Paster on Your Health.” “Dr. Zorba” is a family physician who gives sound medical advice with lots of laughter. I’m always impressed with his nutrition recommendations, especially since lots of doctors don’t know much about the subject!
Dr. Zorba is crazy about the Mediterranean diet. He’s not alone and he has good reason. Research continues to show that a Mediterranean-style eating pattern is good news for health.
Here’s some of the latest in Mediterranean diet research:
- Italians with type 2 diabetes who followed a Mediterranean-style diet had a 37% reduced mortality rate. Further, their death rate from stroke and heart disease was reduced by 34% (1).
- A review article looked at weight loss among overweight and obese people who followed a Mediterranean diet compared to other diets (low-carbohydrate, low-fat, etc). The Mediterranean diet resulted in greater long-term weight loss than the low-fat diet. Weight loss was similar for the other diets (2).
- In the United Kingdom, researchers evaluated the eating patterns of 24,000 people and assigned each a score for how closely they followed a Mediterranean-style diet. Those with higher scores had a 5-15% lower risk for heart disease than those with lower scores. The higher the score, the greater decrease in risk (3).
- A small, recently-published study looked at post-menopausal women who followed the Mediterranean diet for 12 weeks. While their total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels did not change significantly, “good” HDL cholesterol increased and triglycerides decreased (4) during that time.
You can find Zorba’s podcasts at www.wpr.net/zorba or on iTunes.
By Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD
- Bonaccio et al. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2016 Mar;23(4):400-7. doi: 10.1177/2047487315569409.
- Mancini et al. Am J Med. 2016 Apr;129(4):407-415.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.11.028.
- Tong et al. BMC Medicine. 2016;14:135. doi: 10.1186/s12916-016-0677-4.
- Bihuniak et al. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016;116(11):1767-1775. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2016.06.377.
For More Information:
- "What is the Mediterranean Diet?" https://foodandhealth.com/blog/wp-content/handouts/Fad%20Diets/Mediterranean%20Diet.pdf
- "Transitioning to the Mediterranean Diet." https://foodandhealth.com/blog/wp-content/handouts/Fad%20Diets/Transitioning%20To%20The%20Mediterranean%20Diet.pdf
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.