olive-oil-968657“If you’re trying to eat a healthy diet, one of the important things you should do is include olive oil as your main cooking oil or salad oil and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables of different colors.” Yes! This is what Dr. Hanna Bloomfield, a physician, researcher and Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine said discussing the results of her new study or actually review of studies.

Bloomfield and her team after reviewing 90 papers found that people who followed a Mediterranean diet with unrestricted fat (so none of this uber low-fat silliness) had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and type two diabetes. What is new here in the findings is not that the Mediterranean diet can protect from disease (we all know that), but that the fat was unrestricted. I’ve mentioned before that there is no such thing as a low-fat Mediterranean diet but yet we’ve had it drilled to us for so many decades that low-fat is the way to go. It isn’t.

Here’s what Dr. Bloomfield said: “Well what we found in our study is that healthy diets can include a lot of fat, especially if it’s healthy fat, and the emphasis in the United States at least for the past thirty years has been it’s important to reduce fat, fat of all kind, fat’s the bad thing. It turns out that the obesity epidemic in this country is probably more due to our increased consumption of refined grains and added sugar and not so much from our fat consumption.”

Using good fats not only is good for you but increases adherence to a healthy diet. If your vegetables are tasty because you add olive oil to them, you will eat more of them, it’s common sense.

So, the lesson here is eat a lot of plants, add olive oil to them so that they are tasty and you consume plenty of them. That’s the secret of the Mediterranean diet.

Photo by Steve Buissinne

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