As the name suggests, the Mediterranean diet encompasses flavours and foods commonly found within the Mediterranean region. This eating plan is high in fibre, healthy fats and antioxidants. We now know that eating in this pattern is key to managing many chronic health conditions. The Mediterranean diet has been shown to help with weight management as well as reducing the risk of developing conditions such as:
- Heart disease – A study in 2018 found that a Mediterranean diet with olive oil reduced the risk of cardiovascular events and death by 30%
- Cancer – A trial found that a Mediterranean diet reduced cancer incidence by 61%
- Type 2 diabetes – A randomised trial found that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of developing T2DM by 52%
- Reduces the risk of dementia, depression or improving its symptoms and fatty liver disease
The benefits are related to dietary patterns overall and not just individual nutrients or foods.
- Eat regularly: whole grains, vegetables, fruit, fish, olive, oil, seeds, nuts
- Eat moderately: poultry, eggs, cheese and yoghurt
- Ear rarely: red meat
- Don’t eat: processed meats, sugary drinks and processed foods
Water should be your drink of choice when following the Mediterranean diet. This diet also allows 1 glass of red wine if you choose to do so (alcohol consumption may also be detrimental for certain health conditions- please speak to your GP/dietitian)
Does this sound like you?: John has been referred but his GP with increased cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels. John is also overweight. John will benefit from following the Mediterranean diet, where his diet will be rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruit, fish, nuts, olive oil, fish and limiting red meat and processed foods. This will help to manage his conditions as well as assisting with weight loss.
The Mediterranean diet offers is beneficial for managing many chronic health conditions. As there is no right way of following the diet, a dietitian can help with tailoring the diet to suit your individual requirements.
Speak to your GP today to see if you are eligible to speak to a dietitian about your health. Alternatively, we take private health insurance and private fee bookings also.
Written by – Adheesha Jayawardhana (Dietitian)