In a 2010 systemic review and meta-analysis (the researchers picked out all of the high quality studies globally and gained insights from them) the authors found that just a little more compliance with the Mediterranean diet led to an …
8% reduction of death from all causes
10% reduction of death &/or incidence of cardiovascular event or stroke
6% reduction from death &/or incidence of cancer
13% reduction of neuro-degenerative diseases
This is the same diet that was compared to the Standard American Heart Association Diet in 1994 and was found to have an unprecedented 76% lower risk of dying from or suffering a cardiovascular event. So, if you want to avoid heart disease, stroke, cancer and dementia/Alzheimer’s it makes sense to consider your diet as the starting place. Logic tells me that these risk reductions are just the beginning. What happens when you make more substantial changes?
Well, the jury is still out on all of the research*, but there are some logical conclusions that we can make…
- The traditional Mediterranean diet removes the fast foods, deep fried, refined carbs and sugar that are typical components of the Western diet. These foods are not neutral in our diet – they are pro inflammatory and inflammation is implicated in ALL disease.
- The Mediterranean diet is rich in quality proteins, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and legumes. These foods are full of nutrients and anti-inflammatory.
- The Mediterranean diet is rich in fiber and foods that support digestive health by creating a healthy environment for bowel flora. These are the probiotics that modulate our immune system and produce vitamins such as B and K that play a critical role in our health.