The Mediterranean Diet: An Option for Seniors

Mediterranean Diet Basics

Although the Mediterranean Diet has been around since 1945, it has only become popular in the past couple of decades. The diet is based on eating habits of people living around the Mediterranean Sea and admittedly those habits vary from one region to another.  However, the diet commonalities among those regions are what form the basis of the Med-Diet.

Many health experts suggest the diet is really more a lifestyle.  In addition to food consumption that is healthy, people around the Mediterranean exercise a lot simply by walking rather than riding in vehicles; they spend a lot of time outdoors in physical activity. They are a social people, who enjoy community wherever they are.  That includes immediate family, extended family and a cadre of friends.  When encountered by foreigners, they exhibit the same happy, social demeanor.  Many seniors who travel in the area return home commenting on the happiness of the people in Italy, the coasts of  Spain and France and the Mediterranean islands.

Med-Diet is Basically Healthy Eating

People in these locales eat a lot of fish, fresh vegetables and fruit, and olive oil; pasta and fresh bread, and they drink red wine.  These are notably the staples of the Med-diet. Their food is not packaged.  It is not frozen.  It is not cooked in poly-saturated transfats.  They eat little processed sugar and desserts are rich in fruit and low in sugar.  They have lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, and some in the Blue Zone in Sardinia live the longest of people anywhere on the planet.

The Mediterranean diet has become vastly popular in other parts of the world in the past two decades.  Many in the US have adapted it to their own locales, purchasing in-season fresh fruit and vegetables, and finding fresh or fresh-frozen fish in local markets.  Many who follow the diet in the US add fresh lean meat and poultry to add protein variety.  Although some claim the Med-diet to be curative and weight reducing, its real value lies in its contribution to healthful eating.