More wins for the Mediterranean diet


Looks like my lunch – main meal of the day for me – five days a week

Yet more bragging rights are in for the Mediterranean diet, long considered to be one of the healthiest in the world.

A new study published Monday in the BMJ journal Gut found that eating the Mediterranean diet for just one year altered the microbiome of elderly people in ways that improved brain function and would aid in longevity.

The study found the diet can inhibit production of inflammatory chemicals that can lead to loss of cognitive function, and prevent the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and atherosclerosis.

“Our findings support the feasibility of changing the habitual diet to modulate the gut microbiota which in turn has the potential to promote healthier aging,” the study authors said.

The study analyzed the gut microbiome of 612 elderly people from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and the United Kingdom before putting 323 of them on a special diet for a year.

While the diet was designed for the elderly, it was based on the Mediterranean principles of eating lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, olive oil and fish, and little red meat, sugar and saturated fats.

RTFA. Spend a bit of personal time reflecting on the categories of positive change added, negative categories diminished.

None of this surprises me. Over the past 200 years, about a third of my forebears came from Italy straight into the metropolitan United States Northeast. In my family, Mediterranean cooking/diet won out hands down. Easy-peasy to stay with the lifestyle once you’ve made the change – if it was a change.

Economic concerns recede — Environmental concerns grow

For the first time in Pew Research Center surveys dating back nearly two decades, nearly as many Americans say protecting the environment should be a top policy priority (64%) as say this about strengthening the economy (67%).

In addition, while a smaller share (52%) rates dealing with global climate change as a top priority, this is 14 percentage points higher than just three years ago. Today, similar shares rate climate change and improving the job situation (49%) as top policy priorities for President Donald Trump and Congress. Three years ago, 68% said jobs were a top priority, compared with just 38% who named climate change…

The issue of climate change highlights the deep partisan divides in views of many public priorities. Dealing with global climate change ranks at the bottom of the list of 18 policy priorities for Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (just 21% call it a top priority). By contrast, climate change is near the top of the list of issues among Democrats and Democratic leaners (78% call it a top priority).

Large majorities of Democrats also place top priority on protecting the environment (85%), reducing health care costs (80%) and improving the educational system (80%). For Republicans, no more than about half rate these issues top priorities. And there is a sizable divide on the importance of addressing gun policy: Democrats are roughly 40 percentage points more likely than Republicans to view this as a top priority for the president and Congress (66% vs. 25%).

No surprises IMHO. All my questions rest on the shoulders of Democrat staff who will run the nitty-gritty of the 2020 Presidential Election campaign. Frankly, I would vote for either of Mayor Pete’s shelter dogs before I’d vote for the Fake President.