We’re always being told a traditional Mediterranean-style diet is an incredibly healthy way to eat.
As well as its proven benefits in preventing heart attacks and promoting a longer life generally, it has specifically been shown to help ward off diabetes as well as bowel and prostate cancers. (And it was the only eating plan achieving the maximum score of five out of five in the ABC Health & Wellbeing guide to weightloss diets, reviewed by nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton.)
But adopting a truly Mediterranean approach to eating, especially that which stems from the island of Crete in Greece, is not as simple as many cookbooks would have us believe.
While plenty of recipes are promoted as Mediterranean, they aren’t necessarily the ones research has shown to be so good for us, says Associate Professor Catherine Itsiopoulos, from La Trobe University in Melbourne. In fact in most cases they’re not, she says.