Listen: Mediterranean Diet Grabs the Top Spot for Best Healthy Lifestyle Plan
"There is a topic that you WanNa talk talk about this week. Yeah absolutely. We're talking about the Mediterranean Diet today. Okay because it's ranked number one by the US News News Best diets what the. US News does. is they evaluate thirty five different diets and they get input from a panel of experts. Experts including doctors nutritionists Dietitians and people who specialize in diabetes heart health human behavior and weight loss and they They basically look at criteria to rank the diets based on whether they meet the USDA my plate guidelines for calories portions vitamins and minerals as well as whether they help or hinder weight loss and also they have to be relatively easy to follow so so the Mediterranean Diet as ranked number one this year for twenty twenty but it also ranked number one last year and it has been in the either the a number one or number two position in previous years as well so The Mediterranean Diet to me is. It's it's almost kind of like like a no nonsense. Overall healthy approach to eating and living in. And what's really interesting is when we talk about the Mediterranean Diet. Hi and unfortunately the word Diet is in the name but I kind of wish. It wasn't because it's really a it's a lifestyle. It's a lifestyle and in fact when you read about doubted you see that. It doesn't just only incorporate the food aspects but it also talks about The lifestyle of having you you know being active in your life and also about Community sharing meals with family and that type of thing so the whole idea of family dinners is even even a part of the whole philosophy of a Mediterranean diet lifestyle so And it's been around a while the one one really interesting being History on the Mediterranean Diet was that you know it's been research since the nineteen fifties early findings emerged out of something called the seven countries study which began in nineteen fifty seven and it was. It was directed by a A researcher named Ansel keys from the University of Minnesota and he brought together researchers from all over the world to collectively steady the medical questions of the time concerning specifically cardiovascular diseases among people who were living in countries with a variety of different traditional eating patterns in lifestyles. And what what came out of this. You know there were. He looked at twenty two different countries. But what he presented in his research was seven of them and They found that the healthiest people were living in Crete which is one of the islands in the Mediterranean region so by the Mediterranean reflects the food and social social customs of people that live in countries that have a coastline along the Mediterranean Sea. So this is going to include places like Italy Greece Spain Inter in Turkey so so when we think of Mediterranean. That's you know the countries that were thinking of and then also the food and customs that come from that region agent and this goes back centuries so recent research shows like what are the types of foods that they eat and not only that they they look look at if someone is living in the United States and they're following these same dietary principles and lifestyle principles that they can get similar results as what have been seen in the studies of people who have been following this way of life for for generations. So What are you know? Everyone probably wants to know. So what's included and and we eat. And what do they do. The question is what do they eat in. What are they? Don't eat right. Well that's a really good. That's really good okay. So what's really kind of fascinating is there really is no one exact Mediterranean diet because the guidelines reflect different foods from all these different countries. But what what we have done is we've sort of Honed it down And and looked at it so Aside from the fact that processed foods are not included did In the Mediterranean Diet. This is a very almost like pure processed free Iva Diet in fact you know if we wanted to make a comparison between the process free lifestyle described in my book. The science of skinny and the Mediterranean Diet is very similar You know there might just be different difference in portions and that type of thing So aside from that What's really kind of cool about it is? It's kind of unrestrictive and simple. The calories are not a concern. The foundation is built upon anti inflammatory plant based meals with a focus on deeply colored the fruits and vegetables especially the green leafy types such as Chard Kale and spinach and the non starchy type. Vegetables like artichokes folks cauliflower eggplant tomatoes And then a lots of different herbs and spices like Basil Bay leaves Fennel Garlic Parsley Lee Rosemary. And sage and lots of beans beans tend to be A A focus in the Mediterranean Diet and less red meat in in fact in in the most of the Mediterranean traditional societies Red Meat or pork was only eaten. Minimally like maybe yeah well well not only even just like a side but also like only maybe once a month or on a special occasion like a birthday or a wedding or something so it was not a regular learn every day food and so then that still is tantamount part of the Mediterranean Diet. And why it's been used a lot of heart health studies. So it's you know because people who have cardiovascular disease and need to improve their diet Eliminating the saturated fat from Red Meat's is one one of the the keys to that so Is consuming more fish. Is that a an aspect of the Mediterranean diet or no yes in fact fish is one of the main animal foods. Okay in the Mediterranean diet it does include some dairy But in much smaller amounts than what like our USDA guidelines would recommend which USDA guidelines. Tell us to eat three dairy servings a day in the Mediterranean Diet it's very minimal And in those countries and look look in the traditional diet it was mainly from either goat's milk or sheep's milk and they would make that into cheese so they didn't sit there Erin. Drink glasses of milk right so In the US it you know. The Mediterranean diet is recommending low fat dairy which I would probably not recommend that I would recommend whole fat dairy but in the minimal quantities that We they see in the Mediterranean Diet. Do you mentioned that in the science of skinny I do okay. Yeah I say whole milk is is preferred but you don't need to consume a lot of it and it's actually kind of optional. Really no one needs to eat dairy And I think we see that in the Mediterranean diet that it's it's very minimally focused and so you could even leave it out One thing I like about the Mediterranean Diet also is that it's the percentages of the what we call the macronutrients as the fats carbohydrates and the protein we see a higher air percentage of good fat. And of course olive oil is the main source of good fat olive. Oil Fish and nuts are where most of the fat in the Diet comes from and these are all unsettled basically monounsaturated and also some polyunsaturated from fish like the Omega threes Are are where most of the fat comes from. And it's about forty percent of the caloric intake per day is coming from fats which is higher than in what the USDA guidelines recommend but yet we see really good health with people following this on the flip side. Though you have the other part of it is that we have you know all all. The carbohydrates are complex. Meaning it's from beans or from starchy type vegetables or from whole grains so we. I don't see any processed grains in the Mediterranean Diet so the complex carbohydrate percentages are are lower than what we would see in the USDA guidelines and then the protein is quite moderate anywhere between Fifteen to twenty percent of calories coming from protein so most Mediterranean meals. Actually look. Vegetarian is that they're very plant. Centered yes so you would see you know. Mostly vegetables on the plate Probably some some beans or grains and then very minimal amounts of fish or You know if if red meat is consumed. It's like it's like I say it's minimal and it's not often in the in the month so Now a couple of other things they also include red wine oh And that is for the polyphenols that are in the skins of the grapes. And when they're fermented into wine it increases the concentration nation of those polyphenols and so that tends to also be quite heart healthy and lots of 'em antioxidants. The polyphenols are antioxidants. so however it's not unlimited The recommendation is. It's one five ounce glass of red wine for women per day and two I five ounce glasses for men per day and that's the recommendation but of course one thing I always tell people is if you're not already a consumer of wine you you don't have to add this into follow the Mediterranean Diet. It's it's it's there but it's optional. You mean the the wine right the wind like you know you you know some people say oh. I don't drink red wine or I don't drink at all right so I can't do that and that's fine. You don't have to do that. That's the other thing about. It is very adaptable. You could make gluten free you. Can you know you can adjust for different food sensitivities that or food preferences. This is that a person would want to do so. I'm not surprised that it's ranked number"