Mediterranean Diet Earns Top Marks

5:43 AM, May 8, 2013   |    comments
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WFMY -- The Mediterranean Diet has been coined one of the healthiest in the world by some experts.

While many diets are unsustainable for more than a few months or even a few weeks, some experts said the Mediterranean Diet is more sustainable as a lifestyle.

When it comes to healthy, green eating, the Mediterranean Diet earns top marks.

"The main components of a Mediterranean Diet are pretty much veggie-based, whole grain, grains of all kinds. Pasta is part of it, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, extra-virgin olive oil. That's what is the base of the Mediterranean Diet," said Lorenzo Boni, executive chef of Barilla Pasta.

"And I'd say, lots of plant proteins, like beans and nuts. As Lorenzo said, olive oil is the primary cooking fat and even red wine, in moderation," said Kate Geagan, registered dietician and green eating expert.

Geagan said the Mediterranean Diet has benefits for the whole family.

According to Geagan, the style of eating has not only been around for centuries, but science continues to show us, why it is so good for us.

"Just in the last couple of months, there was study out in the New England Journal of Medicine, which found that, when we follow a Mediterranean Diet, we enjoy significantly lower rates of heart disease and stroke," said Geagan. "And then another study out just last month, linked Mediterranean-style eating to lower rates of dementia. So, keeping our memory nice and sharp and clear as we age."

Geagan added that a plant-based Mediterranean Diet, also reduces our risk of diabetes and helps with weight control.

Boni said there are also easy recipes that help families maintain the Mediterranean Diet on a daily basis.

"I use a multi-grain pasta, so you get a boost of protein and omega-3 from the flaxseed from the chickpeas, lentils and barley. So while I'm cooking my pasta that will take about 10 minutes, I'm putting together my sauce, which is very simple and easy, I cooked a little bit of garlic and onion, with the extra-virgin olive oil..we add a little bit of kale and fava beans which are great for you," said Boni.

"Pasta is the perfect partner for some of these other super-foods, which a lot of us, no matter what age we are, we should be eating for better health. But this is such a delicious vehicle, that's convenient for any night of the week," said Geagan.

May is recognized as Mediterranean Diet month.

Geagan said some studies also show the Mediterranean Diet is good for the environment because it incorporates foods that have a low carbon footprint.

WFMY News 2

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