New Mediterranean Diet? It’s not that new, but there’s new information for us.
Isn’t it the same as the old ways or Asian diet? The New Mediterranean diet is really the same as it’s always been — only renamed several times. We’ve got a lot of pyramid happy graphic designers showing what to eat, how to eat, what to eliminate. The truth? It’s pretty simple. The more the names change, the less the diet changes.
When we went to the Mayo Clinic, we were taught in depth about the New Mediterranean Diet. It wasn’t so much eat like the Italians do. It is all about eating fresh produce, whole grains, more wild caught pacific fish, and … really — the only new twists were the new knowledge about Asian Mushrooms, Green Tea, Science based evidence on the virtues of Extra Virgin Olive Oil….
Try as I might, I can’t find that much NEW in changing the Meditteranean Diet to the Anti-Inflammation diet with the exception of specific inflammation-fighting herbs, green teas, and more olive oil. Your Heart won’t care what you call the feeding plan any more than your aching hip will care. The bottom line is the results.
Why all the new names for old ways?
It’s part marketing, part psychology, part people don’t want to change so we keep seeking new ways to inspire this ever important change in lifestyle. If you look at most diets for improving health conditions, they have so many commonalities, it gets boring. When I graduated from Nutrition School, there were not 2 but 5 new feeding guides or charts. There were 3 pyramids, and 2 eating plates, plus a Circle.
Then the fanatics started fighting with those who believed that moderation and eating whole foods is best. People will argue all the time. Not too long ago, coconut was bad. Now it’s so good there is a whole new industry. While many claim coconut oil does wonders, only a few doctors say sure, but eat the WHOLE coconut. I’ve heard many health entrepreneurs tout the virtues of 3 tablespoons of pure coconut oil a day – but I’ve not heard that from a single medical doctor. And most doctors may study the science, but they rarely have advice on how to follow a food plan. Don’t the docs just follow what the nutrition trends are anyway? No one knows the long term effects. Not really. It’s too crazy.
Bottom line: There are several ways to go about reaching your health improvement targets.
- Eat to lower your inflammation
- Eat Local – food grown nearest you, preferably organic
- Eat Asian foods – Asian mushrooms are known for lowering inflammation
- Eat Mediterranean style – lots of fish, vegetables, and olive oil
- Eat Fresh and if you can’t eat fresh frozen whole food is better than canned or boxed
- Stay away from pre prepared, prepackaged, mass merchandised foods. Read the labels. If you can’t pronounce it, it’s an additive that your body won’t love.
Honestly? You can break it all down to this simplistic view: The New Mediterranean Diet is closely related to the Asian Diet and sometimes called the Mediterranean / Asian Diet. Both serve well to lower inflammation in the body, but neither are completely fool proof. While most people will lose weight and lower blood pressure and cholesterol while following this plan, it is totally designed to lower inflammation.
EAT MORE VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
CUT OUT PROCESSED FOODS
EAT WHOLE AND CRACKED GRAINS, BEANS AND LEGUMES, AND SMALL AMOUNTS OF PASTA
WATCH YOUR FATS, AND EAT HEALTHY FATS
EAT WILD CAUGHT PACIFIC FISH AND SEAFOOD
EAT SOME WHOLE SOY FOODS
EAT ASIAN MUSHROOMS
GET QUALITY PROTEIN SUCH AS EGGS, BONE BROTH, PEAS … AND LIMIT CHEESE
LEARN ABOUT HEALTHY SPICES
DRINK 3 – 4 cups of GREEN TEA daily
CHECK YOUR SUPPLEMENTS — WHOLE FOOD BASED SUPPLEMENTS THAT SUPPORT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM, YOUR HEART AND LOWER INFLAMMATION ARE HOT
RED WINE IS GOOD — BEER HAS GLUTEN — HARD LIQUOR ON RARE OCCASION…
SWEETS ARE TREATS – NOT A STAPLE. GO EASY
There are 2 key elements to all dietary plans often unmentioned. It’s built within the Mediterranean Diet. It’s built into the Anti-Inflammation diet. It’s part and parcel of every diet on the planet. We are human beings, not robots. While many grew up playing, somehow we failed to keep active. It’s as if we reached a certain age and were expected to stay seated, indoors, in an office. Oh, the American Dream: Get old, stop moving, and make money. Many wrongly believed that healthy habits were a waste of precious time – they figured they could always lose the added weight once they retired, but they didn’t get that the risk of life altering disease was so close at hand.
Good news, guys: There is always hope. There is always a benefit from starting right now to change your lifestyle.
You have to want it. And starting with the most basic of all tips, you can get your health back. But you have to want it.
It is like we should all know, but then some need constant reminders:
1) STAY ACTIVE – protect your muscles and joints — and keep those bones strong. If you don’t use it, you lose it. That doesn’t mean work out like you plan to run the next Boston (or Seattle) Marathon. It means keep using what you’ve got. Rest is fine, but sedentary living leads to more issues. MOVE.
2) GET OUTSIDE – the most natural source of Vitamin D is the sun. The most natural way to perk yourself up in body, mind and spirit is to get a daily dose of at least 15 minutes a day of natural and UNFILTERED sunlight. It is not good enough to drive your car. It is not good enough to sit in a window. If you are sick or unable, that’s fine. But if you are not — get outside. It’s good for all of you.