More good news about the Mediterranean Diet
It is the diet scientifically proven to better your health within four weeks.
For thousands of years people have lived off a Mediterranean diet, a diet based on olive oil, leafy greens, tomatoes, legumes, seafood, herbs and spices.
But while the diet is not new, the research behind it is.
Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos told Daily Mail Australia the Mediterranean diet has been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some cancers and, more recently, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Scientifically proven: The Mediterranean diet is proven to prevent heart disease and diabetes as well as promote sustainable weightloss
Health benefits: The Mediterranean diet includes olive oil, leafy greens, tomatoes, legumes, seafood, herbs and spices
‘It’s the most researched diet in the world,’ Dr Itsiopoulos said.
‘We have done trials that are about four to six weeks, and in that time we have seen metabolic benefits.
‘One in particular shows the closer you adhere to a Mediterranean diet, the longer you live.’
Keen researcher: Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos has written The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook
Dr Itsiopoulos, an academic, researcher and dietitian from La Trobe University in Melbourne, has published the findings, as well as 80 different recipes, in The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook.
In it she compares the Mediterranean diet to other popular food trends, including the Paleo diet, superfoods, sugar-free lifestyles and the 5:2 diet for fast weight loss.
‘What makes it different is the Mediterranean diet is based on a traditional cuisine and is a whole diet approach,’ Dr Itsiopoulos said.
Good fat: Extra virgin olive oil is the main source of dietary fat in the Mediterranean diet
‘Researchers have looked at the evidence for the benefits for individual ingredients in the prevention for, say, cardiovascular disease, so fish, nuts or fruits and vegetables and whole grain cereals.
‘They’re all important, but it’s a combination of all those things that’s even more powerful than the effects of just the individual ingredients.
‘They help boost the body’s antioxidant defence system, and this is how we understand the diet works, it builds a defence against chronic disease.’