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.

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