Let’s face it: Humans naturally thrive on novelty—so we’re always looking to the latest trendy diet for anything from weight loss to more energy and better health. And we often forget about diets from decades past that have continuously served to help people achieve their goals and live healthy, happy, fit and fulfilling lives.
Case in point: the Mediterranean diet. In the 1950s, American scientist Ancel Keys discovered that Greeks and Italians consumed a diet low in saturated fats and high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. They also experienced lower rates of coronary heart disease (when compared with Americans and Europeans). Discerning a causal relationship between this diet and longevity, Keys popularized what he called the “Mediterranean diet.”
U.S. News & World Report, which ranked it as the No. 1 eating plan, says, “It’s generally accepted that the folks in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea live longer and suffer less than most Americans from cancer and cardiovascular ailments.” Read on to learn more about the Mediterranean diet’s tenets and health benefits and how to integrate them into your daily life.