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The Mediterranean diet is a diet inspired by the eating habits of people who live near the Mediterranean Sea. When initially formulated in the 1960s, it drew on the cuisines of Greece, Italy, and Spain. In decades since, it has also incorporated other Mediterranean cuisines, such as those in the Levant and North Africa.The principal aspects of this diet include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of non-fish meat products. Olive oil has been studied as a potential health factor for reducing all-cause mortality and the risk of chronic diseases. The Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality in observational studies. There is some evidence that the Mediterranean diet lowers the risk of heart disease and early death, although a 2019 review determined that the evidence had low quality and was uncertain. The American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association recommend the Mediterranean diet as a healthy dietary pattern that may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes, respectively. The Mediterranean diet may help with weight loss in obese people.
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Fish-Rich Mediterranean Diet Associated With Higher Cognition

Rita Rubin, MA JAMA. 2020;323(20):1998. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.7061

Consuming a Mediterranean diet, particularly with lots of fish, was associated with higher cognitive function, National Eye Institute (NEI) researchers and colleagues reported recently. The cognition study is a post hoc analysis of data from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) and AREDS2. The multicenter US clinical trials tracked the natural history of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataract and evaluated vitamin supplements’ effects on their progression. At baseline in both studies, researchers used food questionnaires to assess 9 components of the Mediterranean diet: whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fish, and olive oil and reduced consumption of red meat and alcohol.

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