Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gourmet Fusion's Mediterranean Diet

We at Gourmet Fusion have long been advocates of the Mediterranean diet - mainly because we love Mediterranean food, and most of the meals we cook at home have a Mediterranean influence. We also carry several types of virgin and extra virgin olive oil in the Gourmet Fusion store, and oil and vinegar dressings are always the first choice on our salads.

Many of us have read of the benefits of a diet rich in olive oil, whole grains, fish and fruit, because of its low cholesterol and benefit to a healthy heart, but a new study finds that such a diet may also protect aging brains from damage linked to cognitive problems.

The latest study was carried out at Columbia University Medical Center, New york City, and all of the participants, who averaged 80 years old, had no history of strokes, and had MRIs to look for brain infarcts - that is, tissues that have died because of reduced or cut-off blood supply (these infarcts are in fact strokes, but are so small that they escape notice).

The participants were divided into three groups - those who followed the the diet to a high degree, those who followed to a moderate extent, and those who followed very little at all during the previous six years. The people who strictly adhered to the Mediterranean diet had a 36 percent reduced risk of stroke compared with those who followed in the least.

Other studies have already found that this type of diet also lowers the risk for depression, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's and premature death, and as it tastes so good anyway, it is probably something we should all consider including as part of a healthy lifestyle.

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