Is Mediterranean Diet Really Worth the Hype?

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Mediterranean Diet originated from the mediterranean basin developed by ancient civilizations that call it their home. The typical features of a mediterranean diet are:

  • Regular consumption of olive oil (a source of fat)
  • Plant foods (cereals, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds)
  • Moderate consumption of fish and other kinds of seafood and dairy
  • Low to Moderate consumption of Wine (mostly red wine)
  • Limited use of red meats and other kinds of meat products

The one factor that catapulted the Mediterranean diet in the limelight was the protection it offered to its patrons against heart diseases. Other trials also confirmed the favourable influence that this diet has on conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer and some neurodegenerative diseases. While nutrition is largely a subjective matter and you must take into consideration the advice of a nutritionist from Primary Medical Care Center for Seniors in Hialeah, in this article we will explore if mediterranean diet is really worth all the hype. Let’s dive in.

Mediterranean Diet- a historical perspective

For understanding what how the mediterranean diet was put together, we must throw a look at the culture of the mediterranean region- heavily influenced by three religions- Islam, Judaism and Chritianity. The continuity of the Mediterranean lifestyle can be attributed to these religions as they adopted and maintained its aspects as sacred to them. If we look closely, the Mediterranean Diet is not really a ‘diet’ in the strict definition of the term, it is more of a dietary pattern. And the above characteristics which give us an idea of how it looks like, tell us that it is a pattern wherein the consumption of saturated and trans fats is absolutely minimal. 

Are there studies to prove that it works?

Well yes. There are innumerable studies on this diet that associate it with a variety of health benefits. Especially the greek version of the mediterranean diet was found to have a positive effect on not only the cardiovascular diseases but also a 50% reduction in new acute coronary episodes, reduction in number of new cancer cases and in all causes mortality. In a study done by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, it was found that if people incorporated more and more elements of the Mediterranean diet into their existing ones, there was almost 33% reduction in cardiovascular death. Other studies confirmed the relationship between higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet and a reduced number of cardiovascular events in various settings. Covering every study that has been undertaken to evaluate the benefits of the diet is out of the scope of this article, but certainly there is solid evidence that it works pretty well. More so it helps reverse the adverse effects of diabetes type 2, reduce rates of death by cancer and risk of several cancers like colorectal, breast, gastric, liver, head and neck, gallbladder and bile ducts. 


The Mediterranean Diet is being heralded as the magic diet to get rid of all the above-mentioned conditions. Given the fact that veganism is also gaining popularity, people now understand the impact of their dietary pattern on their health and also the environment. Main elements of any diet can be borrowed but it is only your nutritionist who can design a plan that specifically works for you. Primary Medical Care Center for Seniors in Hialeah has doctors to recommend health plans to take care of your requirements.  If there was one big takeaway from this wellness education for seniors, it should be this- we should borrow heavily on certain elements including in our diets- cereals, tree nuts, moderate wine consumption, fresh fruit and vegetables and legumes- however we must watch out for the elements that are being passed on as Mediterranean. Due to globalisation, a lot of the diet has been overtaken by the western influence and populations are increasingly consuming chocolate, heavily sweetened bakery items among other saturated fats. We must watch out for what the Mediterranean diet actually stands for and focus on consuming seasonal items as and when available. 

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