Plus Ultra: Beyond the Mediterranean.
One of the studies we would like to highlight in this newsletter is that of Hershey, M et al. This study was a nutritional intervention with a novel approach that showed to be effective. The study consisted in a multicomponent workplace intervention to change US career firefighters’ eating habits and lifestyle. The approach included access to supermarket discounts and free samples of Mediterranean diet foods (such as olive oil), online nutrition education platforms, email announcements and reminders, family and peer education and support, and chef demonstrations. This one-year intervention showed a significant increase in adherence to the Mediterranean diet in the intervention group versus the usual care control group. Moreover, participants of the intervention group showed statistically significant improvements in the quality of cooking oil used at work. This study exemplifies the implementation of this diet in a non-Mediterranean population, which will undoubtedly help to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease on this professional workforce.
The other study we wish to spotlight equally underscores the borderless influence of the Mediterranean diet. A recent research led by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health unveils that embracing a Mediterranean lifestyle, which supplements the well-known Mediterranean diet (characterized by abundant consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and olive oil) with healthy habits like moderating salt and sugar intake, ensuring adequate rest, engaging in physical activity, and fostering social interactions, correlates with diminished risks of all-cause and cancer mortality. This investigation, anchored in the U.K. Biobank cohort of 110,799 individuals aged 40-75, employed the Mediterranean Lifestyle (MEDLIFE) index to gauge adherence. Elevated MEDLIFE scores were linked to a 29% reduction in all-cause mortality risk, a 28% decrease in cancer mortality risk, and a noteworthy mitigation in cardiovascular disease mortality risk. The study underscores the universally applicable benefits of the Mediterranean lifestyle for diverse populations. It is rather amusing to think that these lifestyles can add flavor to our lives much like olive oil enriches the delightful dishes of the Mediterranean diet. We’re uncovering that the art of living well seamlessly blends both in the kitchen and in life!
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