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The Mediterranean Diet: It’s Not Just a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle

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Do people in Italy, Okinawa, and and Greece live longer because they eat olive oil and tofu? Or could it be more because they treat every meal as a social activity, do a lot of walking and cycling, and basically have a low-stress life in the countryside?

The latter. 

Italians in general eat a LOT of pasta, which is as carby as they get.

Walking, low stress, and socializing all help a lot, I'm sure. 

Also there could very well be a lot of selection bias. The famous village which originally led to the whole Mediterranean diet hypothesis, Pioppi, only has a couple of hundred residents and its economy seems to be based on a sleepy 1950's brand of tourism. I strongly suspect that the residents with more get-up-and-go have already got up and went, leaving behind those who are most inclined to enjoy the slow lane.

More importantly, by focusing on saturated fats, the Mediterranean diet actually might have done a lot of harm. It was one of the factors leading to the highly-processed "low fat diets" that of course ended up giving people license to eat a lot more carbs and sugar than were ever imagined by actual Mediterraneans.

I hear you. Always choose the Greek Yogurt that has fat, not the non-fat one, because the non-fat one substitutes carbs for fat, and carbs are generally worse for people than fats.

The things we like about the "Mediterranean diet" -- vegetables, olive oil, fish -- are things we can eat on many diets. In general they are the foods that are good for most people.

Sure does seem like every long living culture eats beans. 

In reaction to above, "More importantly, by focusing on saturated fats, the Mediterranean diet actually might have done a lot of harm."

Geez, you guys, I'm Mediterranean and can tell you there is absolutely nothing wrong with eating fats and absolutely nothing wrong with eating more saturated fats (e.g. butter) – in fact saturated fats are healthier fats than polyunsaturates.  

Eat more fat!

Since you guys obviously haven't taken my words to heart, probably because I've been a wing-nut harping on eating raw, writing that "fats are where it's at" and urging folks to fast (that nourishes and cultivates a fat-fueling, ketone-based metabolism) for decades, and since the years I joined here on PandaWhale, so how about listening to these guys in their recently published report instead:

Credible folks doing cutting edge research with lots of pictures, charts, tables and an Appendix with over 160 professional citations are hopefully harder to ignore...

Fat: The New Health Paradigm

I probably already shared this report somewhere on PandaWhale on another post, but it clearly warrants incessant repetition.  It's that important because of how far our baseline assumptions are from recognizing the facts... let alone acting on them.

Here's another previous PandaWhale goodie about eating high fat diets:

It's not even that it's a high fat diet, right? It's that in doing so it's a low carb diet.

Because a high fat diet is bad if it is also high carb. 

I'm unsure how you do the math Adam, but eating high anything means eating over 50% of that macronutrient in your diet... so high fat is like eating 60 to 80% fats in whatever your periodic rate analysis might be.

So how the heck can one eat 80% in fats AND then ALSO eat over 50% in carbs?

High fat eating imposes a lower carb and/or protein ratio diet... unless we've found a Spinal Tap way to bring our diets to 130%, which I wouldn't doubt given the current legacies on nutrition we suffer...

PS. To answer your question: Yes, it is even that it's a high fat diet – that's the entire point.

Heh. When I hear "high fat" I think 30%. Eating 80% fat never occurred to me until you mentioned it.

So I watched the video of UK cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra on who the above Mediterranean Diet article was published by the Daily Mail (and also the NYT here: )

For those of us looking for more explicit citations about improving heart health through high fat eating (and coffee lovers looking for medical reasons to drink it more to protect their heart health!) watch the video at this link:

and you'll get this quote, starting at 0:58:

"...the scientific evidence is quite clear: that a high fat Mediterranean Diet in particular is going to have a profound impact on reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke within a short space of time..."

He's got a Kickstarter campaign going for making the movie too... with some interesting perks.

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