At my preceptorship today, a discussion arose regarding a flawless family medical history from a patient with a Portuguese background. What was interesting about the discussion was that the patient believed the reason there was not a history of illness or cancer was because proper medical care did not exist at that time in Portugal and therefore the “real” cause of death was unknown. My wonderful preceptor had a better idea: the Mediterranean Diet!
The Standard American Diet is seriously flawed. If you were in a room full of people and took a look around you would be reminded of how flawed it really is. Americans are obese, unhappy, depressed and sicker than most people living in other countries. We live in a country full of excesses, and this includes our diet. We rush through meals and we fill our bodies with processed ingredients and preservatives; we don’t nourish our bodies, we simply satisfy a physiological need.
The Mediterranean Diet might actually be the polar opposite of the Standard American Diet, it is based on:
– Plant-based meals with large amounts of vegetables and smaller amounts of meat and chicken.
– Larger servings of grains, fruits, nuts, vegetables and legumes
– Obtaining high amounts of fiber, antioxidants and other nutrients
– An abundant supply of fish and other seafood, rich in omega-3 fats
– Olive oil as the main source of monounsaturated fat
– Wholesome ingredients that are fresh and simply prepared
– Flavorful meals
– Dining with others at a leisurely pace
Individuals who follow this type of diet tend to have better blood sugar control, less cardiovascular disease, and lower triglycerides. When you’re preparing meals at home, consider these points and try to incorporate them into the ways that you nourish your body.
University of Maryland Medical Center