The New England Journal of Medicine recently conducted a study, and they revealed that the Mediterranean style of eating is not only one of the healthiest diets in the world, but one of the best for our planet as well.
Registered dietitian and green eating expert Kate Geagan and Barilla executive chef Lorenzo Boni joined me for an interview recently to discuss some of the health and green benefits of this renowned diet, and share a recipe too!
Candace Rose: What is the Mediterranean diet?
Kate Geagan: “The Mediterranean diet is a style of eating that’s been practiced in the Mediterranean region for centuries. But new research just out continues to show the health benefits. There was a study in the New England Journal of Medicine a couple of months ago that found that people following the Mediterranean style of eating have significantly lower rates of heart disease and stroke. And then another study came out last month that showed that the Mediterranean diet is linked to lower rates of dementia.”
Candace Rose: What makes the Mediterranean diet one of the healthiest and greenest diets in the world?
Lorenzo Boni: “Well, I feel like the Mediterranean diet is really a collection of foods seen in the Mediterranean area that are mostly based on veggie and plant based ingredients. So a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, grains (which pasta is part of), legumes and extra virgin olive oil as a base.”
Candace Rose: What are some simple ways we can add this style of eating into our own daily meals?
Kate Geagan: “I think pasta is one of the perfect ways, and it’s such a perfect partner for all of the foods that Lorenzo was talking about, and he’s actually cheffing up today a gorgeous recipe (using Barilla Plus spaghetti) that he’s created just in time for Mediterranean diet month which is this May.
**Please see video above for details on how to make this delicious pasta recipe!**
Barilla just released a double pyramid showing just how the environmental piece works into the diet piece. The Mediterranean diet pyramid shows that we want to base our diet and the types of foods Lorenzo and I are talking about and cooking up today. And next to it they used something called life cycle analysis- rigorous third party evidence showing that the foods which make up the base of the Mediterranean diet actually used fewer resources. Plants in general tend to be a great way to eat while conserving carbon footprint, using less land, requiring less water than when we have a diet very heavy in red meat, processed foods, refined foods. That all adds to the resource use. I like to say the Mediterranean diet is really lean and green- good for you and good for the planet.”
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?
Lorenzo Boni: “Kate and I have a bunch of recipes and they’re going to be posted on the Barilla.com website, along with the recipes you can get a bunch of information on the Mediterranean diet on the site.”