The Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

Armen Hareyan's picture

Mediterranean Diet of Cretans contains a certain wild plant that was also proven to be a powerful antioxidant.


Mediterranean Diet

In most Western societies the average weight of the population has been slowly increasing over the years. Compared to twenty years ago, the average American today is five pounds heavier, even though the average amount of food intake has decreased. Since the quantity of food has decreased, the cause in increased body weight must therefore be mostly due to insufficient exercise participation. Although not as significant as inactivity, wrong food choices may also be a contributor to the problem. There is a growing problem of obesity incidence in North America, Europe and other developed countries. Obesity has been linked to many life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The only solution to this wide spread problem is a reduction in body weight. However, that's easier said than done. Most people that have tried dieting have found out that diets aren't very effective over the long run. The best way to achieve permanent weight loss is through improvement in lifestyle. A lifestyle that includes proper nutrition and sufficient exercise participation is most effective.


Because of the fear of saturated fat and its association to heart disease and cancer, over the years, food trends have moved away from red meats, butter, and whole fats. People have been watching what they have been eating. One problem is, however, that although they have decreased their intake of saturated fat, they have also increased polyunsaturated and hydrogenated fat intakes. That is, food trends have moved towards products that contain these fats; some of these include margarine, creamy salad dressings and sauces, etc. Unfortunately, these fats are also high in calorie content, and have been linked to several diseases as well.

At this point, you may be wondering if there is anything at all safe to eat in this world. The answer is: it's not so much what you eat per se; it's the quantity that is important. That's not to say that quality is not, but calories still do count. There is an ancient Greek proverb that says "pan metron ariston." It means the key to good health is, doing everything in moderation.

Maybe this is why certain Mediterranean regions have low death rates from heart disease and cancer. In fact, scientists have discovered that the Greek island of Crete has the lowest such rates. Olive oil is widely used in these regions and has been proven to battle against cancer and disease of the heart. Scientists, however, have recently stumbled on an even more important finding. Additional research has shown that the Mediterranean

John Tiniakos