by Natalie Rizzo in Diets, Food & Nutrition Experts, March 26, 2017
by Amy Reiter in Food News & Trends, June 10, 2016
Feeling a bit down? New research suggests that a Mediterranean diet can help treat depression. Now that’s cause for celebration! The study suggests that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and lean proteins may be able to treat major depressive episodes.
The researchers followed 67 Australian individuals with a history of depression and poor dietary habits. Study participants were randomly sorted into two groups. One group received dietary intervention, consisting of 60-minutes of Dietitian-lead nutrition one time per week. The second group received social support, otherwise known as ‘befriending’ or spending time with another individual discussing neutral topics, like sports, news or music. In addition to the interventions, both groups were being treated with a mixture of anti-depressive medication or therapy.
The dietary intervention group learned about the importance of eating a Mediterranean diet, including 5-8 servings of whole grains per day, 6 servings of vegetables per day, 3 servings of fruit per day, 3-4 servings of legumes per day, 2-3 servings of low-fat and unsweetened dairy foods per week, 1 serving of raw and unsalted nuts per day, 2 servings of fish per week, 3-4 servings of lean red meats per week, 2-3 servings of chicken per week, 6 eggs per week and 3 tablespoons of olive oil per day. They were also encouraged to reduce their intake of sweets, refined cereals, fried food, fast-food, processed meats and sugary drinks to no more than 3 per week. Read more
by Amy Reiter in Food News & Trends, October 30, 2015
Embrace good fats
Is it finally time to stop fearing all fats? The low-fat trend — already under fire — just took another hit from science. Researchers in Spain have concluded that all fats are not created equal – and that some will not lead to significant weight gain, regardless of calorie content. The study tracked 7,447 middle-aged men and women over five years and found that those who were put on a Mediterranean diet — with lots of fresh fruits, veggies and lean proteins, as well as olive oil and nuts — without calorie restrictions lost a bit more weight than those who were assigned a low-fat diet with no restrictions in their caloric intake. Read more
by Amy Reiter in Food News & Trends, May 15, 2015
Dried fruit: yea or nay?
Is dried fruit good for you or something to be avoided? Time magazine put the question to nutrition experts and most agreed that dried fruits — raisins, figs, prunes, etc. — were great, healthy go-to snacks, albeit with a caveat or two. “Dried fruits are an excellent source of fiber and a concentrated source of antioxidants,” University of Scranton chemistry professor Joe Vinson said. Yet while dried fruits are convenient, portable, durable and often downright tasty, they also contain a lot of sugar, so it’s a good idea to keep portions small and check to make sure they don’t contain any added sugar. “When the native sugar of the fruit is combined with extra added sugar, you are now in the realm of candy,” David Katz, M.D., director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, told the magazine. Read more
by Toby Amidor in Diets, May 3, 2015
Candy maker’s sweet surprise
The movement to limit the use of added sugars and to clearly label the amount of sugar on packaged foods now has an unlikely advocate: Mars, Inc. The candy company behind M&M’s, Milky Way, Snickers, Twix and other best-selling chocolate bars just sent the honchos at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture a letter saying it supports the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recommendation that people limit their added sugar consumption to no more than 10 percent of daily energy intake. Mars also endorsed the clear labeling of added sugars and “off-label nutrition education” to “help guide decisions about their sugar intake.” Wow — sweet! Read more
by Amy Reiter in Food & Nutrition Experts, November 18, 2014
Warm weather is setting in, and many folks are hoping to slim down before slipping into their teeny teeny-weeny bikinis. But before giving a popular diet a whirl, find out if it’s right for you.
This plan is inspired by life in Mediterranean countries surrounded by the ocean. The diet calls for eating fish at least twice a week, consuming minimal red meat, and using lots of fresh herbs and spices. It also emphasizes exercise and the importance of enjoying your meal with the company of family and friends. Here are 15 Mediterranean Diet-inspired recipes you can try.
U.S. News & World Report ranked this diet as No. 3 out of 35 as best overall diet. The recommended foods are healthy and well-balanced. But given that there are numerous versions of the Mediterranean diet, be sure to find one that includes all the food groups and isn’t too restrictive.
by Kitty Greenwald in Chefs and Restaurants, March 26, 2014
It seems like every time we turn around, we hear about a new way the Mediterranean diet is good for us. Filling up on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, eating a moderate amount of fish and dairy and just a small amount of meat, sweets and unhealthy fats, and incorporating olive oil and the occasional glass of red wine is a recipe for reducing the risk of heart disease, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and death due to heart disease or cancer. In the past few months alone, studies have concluded that the Mediterranean diet may lower the risk for chronic kidney disease, diabetes and peripheral artery disease and can help reverse metabolic syndrome. And that’s just a small sampling of the research fast piling up in the diet’s favor.
by Dana Angelo White in Healthy Tips, June 13, 2013
“The idea that farm to table is revolutionary is funny to me because it is something I grew up with,” says Michael Psilakis. “I remember my mom pulling up tomatoes from our garden and slicing them and serving them with sliced onions that she had chilled in ice water. She’d serve me this as a snack so I could go and cut the grass or play baseball,” he says. With an upbringing full of such offerings, it is easy to understand why Psilakis, a first generation Greek-American who was raised in Queens, New York, has distinguished himself as an early proponent of the Mediterranean diet.
by Toby Amidor in Diets, May 3, 2013
The health benefits of a Mediterranean diet are numerous – better heart health and reduced risk of cancer, just to name a few. Use these swaps to make your diet more Mediterranean.
Instead of: Butter
Choose: Olive Oil
The Payoff: No cholesterol and an abundance of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Drizzle on salads, add to marinades and use to sauté veggies.
Instead of: Beef
The Payoff: A boost of omega-3 fats. These good-for-you fats are also found in walnuts, flax seeds, and canola oil. Make this easy grilled salmon with a fresh fruit salsa for a quick weeknight dinner.
It’s not just about eating more fish and using olive oil. To get the health benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet, you need to embrace the lifestyle.
Many researchers have found that those living in the Mediterranean have a lower risk of certain types of disease. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that incorporating more olive oil and nuts may help reduce the risk of heart disease by about 30% in folks who are at high risk. Since the release of this study in April 2013 the popularity of the Mediterranean diet has skyrocketed—and with good reason. On top of incorporating many good-for-you foods, the cuisine is pretty darn tasty.