Mediterranean Diet Remains a Simple Path to Good Health
28 June, 2018
The Mediterranean Diet is far from “de-bunked” and remains a simple, nutritious way to eat and live for chronic disease prevention, according to Desi Carlos and Lisa Peterson, authors of Mediterranean Eating: Cook, Eat, Live.
The ‘Two Greek Girls Cooking’ Authors and Dietitians, say media attention on the recent reanalysis of a randomised trial on the Mediterranean Diet for cardiovascular health, shouldn’t deter Australians from adopting a well-rounded, natural and plant-based approach to eating.
“At the end of the day, the Mediterranean Diet incorporates a range of antioxidant-rich foods, good fats, as well as plenty of fruit, vegetables and fibre which can lower your risk for a whole range of chronic health conditions,” Lisa Peterson says.
The Brisbane-based Accredited Practicing Dietitians say the Mediterranean diet is effective because it doesn’t restrict any foods, is close to nature, and is easy to implement.
“As Dietitians, we see so many people struggling and in poor health from fads or restrictive diets, and we encourage Australians not to be deterred from choosing the Mediterranean Diet if it suits them, because it’s such a simple, sensible and effective way to eat for good health.” Desi Carlos adds.
“The lower instance of chronic disease in traditional Mediterranean communities was the driving force behind studies like this in the first place.”
About the study
A 2013 randomised trial has recently been “reanalysed” after a statistician at the New England Journal of Medicine raised questions about imperfections with some of the data.
The original trial, Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet, known as the PREDIMED study, was conducted by Dr Miguel A. Martinez-Gonzalez of the University of Navarra. It involved 7,447 participants aged 55 to 80 who were assigned one of three diets (high in olive oil, high in nuts and low in fat) and were followed for a 5-year period before results were collated.
The imperfections in PREDIMED were suggested to centre around the ‘random’ nature of participants assigned diets.
On re-evaluation of the data by Dr Martinez-Gonzalez in conjunction with Dr Miguel Hernan of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, they concluded the original findings were still accurate and a new paper was released last week.
“The link to a reduction in cardiovascular risk is now being called an association due to the smaller number of correctly randomised participants – but the smaller study still produced the same data at the end of the day,” Desi says.
Dr Steven Nissen, Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic recently agreed. “In the grocery checkout line, you can see one book after another touting diets that have zero scientific evidence. The Mediterranean diet still has the best evidence of any diet.”
Mediterranean Diet Expo
Desi and Lisa are hosting a world-first Mediterranean Diet Expo in October this year, where you can taste the Mediterranean Diet, and find out more from renowned health experts, such as Cardiologist Dr David Colquhoun and sponsors like The Australian Heart Foundation.
The Mediterranean diet is based upon the high consumption of plant-based natural foods, fish, eggs and legumes, wholegrains and olive oil, and the reduced consumption of red meat, processed foods, salt, sugar and bad fats.
To find out more about the Mediterranean Diet Expo, to be held at Brisbane’s Greek Club on October 21, visit the website https://twogreekgirls.com/mediterranean-diet-expo
About Two Greek Girls Cooking
Lisa Peterson and Desi Carlos are dietitians with over 30 years combined experience in private practice at Tree of Life Nutrition in Brisbane. Their vision with Two Greek Girls Cooking is to educate and inspire all generations and ethnicities in Australia to encompass a Mediterranean diet – enjoyment of delicious food, at the same time as providing high nutrition for long-term health.
Their lifestyle book Mediterranean Eating Cook-Eat-Live (available online https://twogreekgirls.com/shop/ and through selected bookshops) is a comprehensive plan for adopting the Mediterranean lifestyle as the optimal way to live for chronic disease prevention and longevity.
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Original PREDIMED study: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1200303
Revised study: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1800389
Dr Nissen: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/mediterranean-diet-still-best-for-heart-cardiovascular-benefits/