Mediterranean Diet: Balanced, Flexible, Time-Tested, Chronic Disease Buster!

We curated this story titled “The Mediterranean diet has stood the test of time for a reason: It works” from National Geographic in an attempt to support the launch of a new year with stories that color our lives brighter, antidotes to daily headlines. The series opened with a story about medical breakthroughs in 2023 here.

Even if you’re not a fan of hummus, tabouli, or olives, it’s worth giving the Mediterranean diet a chance. Why? Because when it comes to the hierarchy of healthy eating patterns, the Mediterranean diet consistently comes out on top.

In 2023, U.S. News and World Report ranked it #1 overall, as well as giving it first place as the best diet for healthy eating and for being the best plant-based diet. It’s delicious and nutritious, and consuming it is associated with a variety of health benefits. It is also easy to follow and sustainable for the long haul. And you don’t need to live in a Mediterranean country or even leave home to adhere to the eponymous diet or reap its benefits.

It also happens to be associated with greater longevity: In a study in a 2023 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers compared the effects of adherence to several healthy eating patterns and found that people who closely followed a Mediterranean diet long term had a nearly 20 percent lower risk of dying prematurely from any cause over a 36-year period.

“Chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, and respiratory diseases are the leading causes of death,” Katz notes. “If you’re reducing the risk of these chronic diseases, you’re likely to live longer. The Mediterranean diet builds vitality and [helps prevent] chronic diseases that shorten our lives.”

The diet’s origins and core foods…

Continue reading here.

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