For a Long Life and Better Health, Nothing Beats the Mediterranean Diet

Fresh, in-season produce, the best-quality seafood and meat, and, above all, plenty of olive oil (and other good-for-you unsaturated fats)—these are the foundations of the Mediterranean Diet. If you’re a regular Sun Basket customer, you’re already following the Mediterranean Diet in part. Our recipes lean heavily on this healthy and delicious way of eating. And Sun Basket’s team of dietitians are fans.

Because it’s one of the most inclusive dietary regimens, the Mediterranean Diet has broad appeal and is easy to follow. “It’s the best of both worlds,” Lindsey Kane, director of nutrition says. “The flavors are amazing, and the health benefits are measurable. It’s one of the best examples of how nutritious food can also be delicious.”

Five Things the Mediterranean Diet Can Do

1. Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight. It’s a common misconception that high-fat diets lead to weight gain. Results from one major study showed that those following a Mediterranean diet, high in good fats like olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish, lost significantly more weight than those who ate a low-fat diet.

2. Improves Memory. Australian researchers recently found that the Mediterranean diet is associated with lower rates of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. The diet even improves ordinary cognitive functioning: those on the diet showed better memory and executive functioning, such as reasoning and planning.

3. Prevents Breast Cancer. In one of the largest studies of high-risk women, scientists analyzed the eating patterns of more than 4,200 women in Spain and found that those consuming a Mediterranean diet were 62 percent less likely to get breast cancer than those following a standard low-fat diet.  

4. Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease. One European study followed more than 2,500 Greek adults for over a decade, tracking their medical records, lifestyle habits, and eating patterns. Those who most closely followed the Mediterranean diet were a whopping 47 percent less likely to get heart disease, regardless of their smoking habits, age, family history, or other lifestyle factors.

5. Slows the Negative Effects of Aging. A landmark study of US female nurses found that those on the Mediterranean diet in middle age were about 40 percent more likely to live past 70 years old free of any of 11 chronic diseases, including type-2 diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, and various common cancers.