watermarkSo I went on vacation for a few days and I come back to find the Mediterranean diet all over the news again, showing once again the effectiveness of this delicious way of eating.

The study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress showed that individuals who already have heart disease have a 37% reduced risk of dying if they had a high adherence to the Mediterranean diet. Now according to another study earlier this year, it was shown that people taking statins (prescription drugs to lower cholesterol) had a 24% reduced risk of dying. This could lead to the assumption that a Mediterranean diet is better at reducing risk of dying from heart disease than medication. Well, maybe. We have also seen numerous other studies that show that the Mediterranean diet is effective not only for prevention but for people who already suffer from a disease. There is one problem. Adherence to diets is fairly low and most folks are looking for the easy solution in a pill.

As a clinical dietitian, I cannot count how many times I had patients come in and out of the hospital because they just were not following the diets we had prescribed for their condition. This is a reality. People think taking medication is easier than following a diet. And this is why I believe a proper description of the real Mediterranean diet is important. Once again with this new study, dozens of media outlets talked about the Mediterranean diet in vague terms making it look like it some sort of complicated diet that requires a lot of effort. Well, I’m here to tell you that it is not complicated and it is not expensive and it is not restrictive.

So, the lesson here is that while this study is positive, we first have to make sure that individuals with cardiovascular disease spend time learning about the real Mediterranean diet and its simplicity. Show them that eating delicious food is in fact easier and more enjoyable than taking a pill. But they need the tools on how to follow this diet such as simple cooking as well as shopping skills. And this is what I am trying to accomplish here at Olive Tomato. Simple recipes, simple tips, up to date information.

And since we are talking about simplicity, I want to share once again my guide: The Mediterranean Diet Manifesto. Just stick it to your fridge and follow.

Written by Elena Paravantes.
Copyright © 2016 Olive Tomato. All Rights Reserved.

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  1. I do not eat egg yolks, meat and organ meat. I am an abstainer of alcohol. I do not like to eat with alco drinkers listening to all the bla bla bla. I like biking and it is not good with alcohol in my blood although it is allowed in my country. I never eat chicken. I also like a lot of roots, mushrooms, wild plants, soured milk and cheese. I like canola oil and linseed oil. I am a pescetarian. Pasta is low in nutrition. I also like sprouts. I do not like white bread. I hate pasta which is low in nutrition.I think parboiled rice is much better. I also like wild berries which they seldom eat down there. Pan integral you have to buy early else you have to eat that white bread. No soured milk or Kefir. They eat croisants with marmelade or nutella for breakfast. The chease is terrible and full of salt. No thanks.

  2. I have been following the Mediterranean diet for approximately 18 months- nearly religiously. Prior to starting the plan- I had labs done to see what triglycerides and cholesterol were. Triglycerides were 780 and total cholesterol was 387. In the past 18 months I have lost 82 pounds and on 9/1/16 I had labs performed again. Triglycerides are now 154 and Total Cholesterol is 198!! The Mediterranean way of eating works great. I am healthier at 55 than I have ever been. I do not call it a diet as diets are restrictive. I call it a way of eating and enjoy it fully!! Thank you

  3. Jan, I as well have tried to get the “Manifesto” to no avail:) I tried clicking on the black & white banner – that didn’t work. Is there anything else that we can try?

    Thank you for your interesting & informative blog!

  4. And since we are talking about simplicity, I want to share once again my guide: The Mediterranean Diet Manifesto. Just stick it to your fridge and follow. ok, sounds great. but where is it? please share this with us. I had a heart attack about 6 weeks ago and my cartiologist recommend this diet and I have been trying, but there seems to be so many different opinions out there. I need a starter version, simple easy resipes for everyday meals. I don’t need big fancy, takes all day to fix stuff that you find in the cookbooks I’ve seen. please help, and thank you for your time.

    1. Hi Jeff, as noted the manifesto is above. The majority of recipes here are very easy and confirm to the mediterranean diet. You can see above on the menu the recipes categorized according type of meal (main course, appetizer etc.).