The Mediterranean Diet and Olive Oil

I don’t often go on about the health benefits of olive oil because there is just so much written on this topic. I feel my customers are already convinced that it is good for them health wise in addition to tasting delicious. In other words, why preach to the converted. However, the recent flurry of press activity around the latest medical studies involving the Mediterranean Diet may have made you curious. The other day a friend of mine who is a doctor e-mailed me the link to the actual study and description of the diet  which I will include for you to have a look at if you have the time or interest. You will note they allotted  1 litre of olive oil per week for a family with instructions to use liberally.

The Mediterranean Diet study from the New England Journal of Medicine

Description of Mediterreanean Diet from the study

To briefly summarize the study – It concludes if you include lots of olive oil and nuts in your diet and stay away from meats, animal fats and processed foods you could greatly reduce heart disease compared to a low fat diet. What is a real Mediterranean Diet like you might ask. I thought I’d mention a book that does  a good job of explaining this diet and includes recipes.

The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: A Delicious Alternative for Lifelong Health by Nancy Harmon Jenkins is an excellent book. Jenkins published her first Mediterranean Diet Cookbook almost two decades ago so this concept has been out there for quite awhile.

I also love Ottolenghi’s Cookbooks which give you lots of great recipes that would fit well with the Mediterranean diet philosophy. I love his book – Plenty which has delicious vegetarian recipes. There is also the well designed Ottolenghi  iPhone app which helps you plan delicious meals on the fly from your phone.