A Holistic diet.

All dietary studies are fraught with dangers of misinterpretation and so don?t get carried away with the common media frenzy highlighting one component of a diet. The Mediterranean study is no exception. Although there is a relatively high content of monounsaturated fat from the olive oil, it would be misleading to jump to the conclusion that monounsaturated fat must be the magic formula. Pork also has monounsaturated fat in reasonably high quantities but so far no dietary study has shown a benefit of eating a diet high in pork meat.

It is important to think about the health benefits of the diet in general and in its cultural context rather than of its component parts. A scientific study of the Mediterranean diet, PREDIMED, has been acclaimed in the world press throughout 2013 because of the demonstration of significant reductions in cardiovascular disease. It was following the study protocol overall that also produced positive effects on diabetes control and improved weight management. It was not demonstrated that one component of the diet contained the magic bullet.

There was a focus by the media on the extra virgin olive oil and on the supplemented walnuts consumed in the study but the fact remains that this was a study on the Mediterranean diet in general. The primary aim of the study was on diet and health and not to evaluate just one type of nutrient. Extending the discussion to explore which dietary component was responsible for the benefit will be pure conjecture.

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