Beyond the Mediterranean Diet—the Mediterranean Lifestyle

By Janis Jibrin, MS, RD

As you know, the traditional Mediterranean-style diet—the premise of The Pescetarian Plan—is super healthy.  There are thousands of research studies showing health benefieuro-friendsts.  (A lower risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, certain types of cancer, to name a few.)

If you’re eating along those lines, kudos!  You’re doing a lot to protect your health.  But what’s even better for you: the traditional Mediterranean lifestyle.  That includes:

  • The diet: Rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts/seeds; extra-virgin olive oil is the primary fat. Moderate amounts of fish, dairy, eggs and alcohol.  Very little red meat or added sugar.
  • Conviviality: Eating together, celebrating together, doing things as a family, frequently visiting friends and relatives.
  • Being physically active, including walking, gardening, farming and manual labor.
  • Adequate rest—getting enough sleep, and spending time relaxing.

A newly published study tracking Spanish university graduates found that those who most closely adhered to a Mediterranean lifestyle (diet, level of physical activity and socializing) were only half as likely to be depressed compared to those whose lifestyles were the most counter to a Mediterranean way of living.

Here’s a way to roll all the Mediterranean lifestyle elements in one:  Have a vegetable-rich pescetarian dinner with family or friends, take a walk afterwards, and go to bed at a reasonable hour!