On the last day of Mediterranean Diet Month comes news linking this “ideal” way of eating to better mental and physical health.
The Mediterranean diet has already been associated with a decreased risk of several chronic disease and a lower mortality rate overall (see New Research Backs Up Mediterranean Diet Benefits). But a new study* suggests that it can also lead to a better quality of life.
The results reveal indicate that those who stick more to the Mediterranean diet score higher on the quality of life questionnaire in terms of physical and mental well-being. This link is even stronger in terms of physical quality of life.
The Mediterranean diet features fruit, vegetables, fish, olive oil, beans, lentils, whole grains and nuts while limiting the consumption of saturated fats (see Dr. Cherry’s Mediterranean Diet Guidelines The Ideal Diet).
Based on the study, researchers found that the best results came from a diet that included whole grains, fruit and vegetables, and lean dairy products at every main meal; daily consumption of 8-16 cups of water; olive oil as the main source of fat; lean protein from fish, lean meat and eggs; and moderate consumption of wine.
On the other hand, foods such as sweets, cakes, pastries and sweetened beverages should be consumed occasionally and in small amounts.
* P. Henríquez Sánchez, C. Ruano, J. de Irala, M. Ruiz-Canela, M.A. Martínez-González, A. Sánchez-Villegas. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet and quality of life in the SUN Project. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012; 66(3): 360-8