The new twist on the Mediterranean diet (Hint: Meat is back!)

I would venture to guess that you’ve probably heard of the Mediterranean diet.

In fact, I would say that considering the fact that the Med Diet is known as one of the healthiest diets to follow, just about everyone has at least heard or read one good reason to try it out.

But, just in case, here are a few of its biggest benefits:

  • Wards off diabetes – The Med Diet has been shown in multiple studies to result in lower fasting glucose levels and improve glycemic control.
  • Protects the heart – According to the Mayo Clinic, study after study has linked the diet to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Offers stroke prevention – A massive study, reported by the American Heart Association, found that the Med Diet has the power to lower the risk of stroke in women.
  • Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s – Studies show the diet can even put the brakes on changes in the brain that indicate the early development of Alzheimer’s disease.

And, those are just some of the reasons adopting the Med Diet might be the healthiest choice you can make…

However, for many people the idea of the diet can be easier than the actual practice, for one big reason – it limits the amount of meat you eat.

Basically, on the Med Diet, you’re supposed to eat plenty of extra virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, wholegrain breads, pastas, and cereals, focus on fish, add some red wine, and cut out as much red meat, sugars, and processed foods as possible.

Related: The best and worst diets of 2019

But, that’s not always easy for us carnivores (and I should know since I’m a born and raised Texan who refuses to give up my grilled, barbecued, and roasted favorites).

Now though, according to a new study, we can have our health and our meat too with a new version of the Med Diet…

The Med Diet plus pork (Med-Pork)

The study was conducted in Australia, and if anyone loves their meat dishes as much as we do, it’s the Aussies!

So, researchers from the University of South Australia set out to determine whether or not the people Down Under (and the world over) could still experience the same benefits of the traditional Med Diet without giving up meat.

And, in so doing, they created the Mediterranean-Pork (Med-Pork) diet.

This study compared the cognitive effects of people between the ages of 45 and 80 and at risk of heart disease following a Med-Pork or a low-fat diet.

The results?

The Med-Pork intervention outperformed the low-fat diet, delivering higher cognitive processing speeds and emotional functioning — both markers of good mental health.

In other words, if you want to experience better health but don’t want to give up your meat, you can still go on the Med Diet but with a twist.

How Much Meat?

According to the researchers, you’re able to add two to three (250 gram) serving of fresh, lean pork each week to the usual Med Diet and still grab its cognitive benefits.

So, eat up and try this recipe for Mediterranean pork chops – I made it last night and trust me, you can’t go wrong!

  • Pat pork chops dry and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Season with two teaspoons each dried sage and rosemary, one teaspoon each salt, crushed fennel seed, and thyme, and ½ teaspoon sugar.
  • Grill approximately four minutes per side until 145° F and let rest five minutes.

These are absolutely amazing with grilled asparagus and cauliflower mashed potatoes as sides – perfect Med Diet accompaniments. Enjoy!

Sources:

  1. What’s to know about the Mediterranean diet? — Medical News Today
  2. Mediterranean diet: A heart-healthy eating plan Mayo Clinic
  3. Mediterranean diet may lower stroke risk in women — American Heart Association
  4. Mediterranean diet may slow development of Alzheimer’s disease — National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  5. Have your health and eat meat too — EurekAlert!
Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.