For years, experts have ranked it one of the world's best diets...
Studies show it does everything, including helping you maintain a healthy weight, improving your heart health, and reducing symptoms of depression.
You might be thinking, "OK... another doctor pushing another fad diet."
Trust me, I'm not talking about diets that no one could ever – or should ever – maintain for the long term.
We're surrounded by media about the latest and greatest diets. It's no wonder, as nearly 50% of Americans try to lose weight each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But there's one media outlet we trust for this kind of dietary data: U.S. News & World Report. It just released its annual review of the best and worst diets.
One of our favorites, the Mediterranean diet, topped the list again this year.
The Mediterranean diet consists of healthy fats (like one of my favorite things ever: olive oil), whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fresh seafood, and legumes.
Studies show people following a Mediterranean diet had fewer heart attacks, strokes, and deaths from heart disease. And it seemed to work best for folks with a high risk of heart disease. That's because the components of the diet are great for heart health.
For instance, we know that olive oil contains significant amounts of antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acids (or "MUFAs"). MUFAs keep insulin levels in check, making olive oil good for diabetics. They also help with cholesterol levels.
Moreover, due to its chemical structure and function, olive oil also protects your cells from oxidation damage, which reduces your risk of developing diseases of inflammation. That includes heart disease, arthritis, and high blood pressure.
Olive oil also plays a significant role in longevity. A recent study out of Harvard found that, compared with folks who ate no olive oil, the participants (60,582 female and 31,801 male) eating half a tablespoon of olive oil or more each day were:
- 17% less likely to die from cancer
- 18% less likely to die from respiratory illness – like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ("COPD")
- 19% less likely to die from cardiovascular illness – like heart disease or stroke
- 29% less likely to die from neurodegenerative illness – like Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease
So, if you want to live longer, eat olive oil...
And not just any olive oil. Choose extra virgin olive oil ("EVOO"), which is the least-processed form. As such, EVOO retains more of the natural vitamins and antioxidants from the olives used to make it. Eat at least 2 tablespoons every day.
I've been saying this for years...
Include plenty of fruits and vegetables for a healthy diet. About 10 servings a day is ideal for lowering your risk of cancer and premature death. Even just two and a half servings provide some benefit, but the more the better.
We've also seen how the Mediterranean diet protects against cognitive decline. What's more, a study in monkeys showed that following the diet improved good gut bacteria. Remember, our guts contain trillions of bacteria that regulate everything from digestion to our immune system.
And it stacks up against the competition. The Mediterranean diet consistently outperforms other diets in clinical trials. Year after year, it ranks as one of the best ways to eat, according to science. We can't see a reason not to follow this way of eating.
So try it out this month if you're not already eating this way. And let us know what you think. Common side effects include better health, reduced signs of aging, and more energy.
What We're Reading...
- The U.S. News & World Report's review of the Mediterranean diet.
- A beginner's guide to help you get started.
- Something different: The group of whales hiding from humans.
Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
May 10, 2022