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Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean diet foods to be labeled with new symbol

Friday, March 16, 2007 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: Mediterranean Diet, health news, Natural News

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The nutritional advocacy and education nonprofit group Oldways will soon be launching a symbol to be placed on foods that correspond to the "Mediterranean diet." Oldways is the organization that certifies the use of the Whole Grains Stamp, which appears on more than 1,000 products.

Jump directly to: conventional view | alternative view | resources | bottom line

What you need to know - Conventional View

• Oldways will approve the "Med Mark" for use on food products that meet its guidelines for the traditional Mediterranean diet.

• This approach is focused less on individual ingredients and more on a combination of foods such as olive oil, cereals (including bread, couscous, pasta and rice), fruits and vegetables (including avocados, grapes, eggplant, olives, peppers and tomatoes), potatoes, nuts, beans, cheese and yogurt.

• Oldways first introduced its Mediterranean diet pyramid in 1993, pointing out that people who eat this traditional diet have longer life and lower rates of heart disease and certain cancers, even though the diet is higher in fat than that recommended by the U.S. government's food pyramid.

• The Med Mark is scheduled to be introduced by late April, along with a new web site providing information about the Mediterranean diet.

• Food companies will pay a fee to participate in the Med Mark program, just as they do to participate in the Whole Grains Stamp program, launched in 2005.

• Quote: "We don't want to focus on just ingredients with the Med diet. It's important to stress that the health benefits come when following the dietary pattern as a whole. It's all about the whole package, not any single food." - Oldways President Dun Gifford

What you need to know - Alternative View

Statements and opinions by Mike Adams, executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center

• The Mediterranean Diet is a healthful one that has been convincingly shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression and other disorders.

• While the Med Mark symbol will prove very useful in helping consumers choose healthier food products, consumers should be careful to avoid overly processed foods that might carry the symbol. A true Mediterranean Diet is based on fresh, locally-grown vegetables, fruits, nuts and oils, with relatively little meat and dairy consumption.

Resources you need to know

• Download the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid at http://www.oldwayspt.org/med_pyramid.html

Bottom line

• The Med Mark symbol will soon allow consumers to easily identify which foods meet the guidelines of the Mediterranean diet./b>

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