May is International Mediterranean Diet Month and as part of the educational and informative slate of events taking place in support of the program, consumers can now take a brief but fun online quiz that stacks their own eating patterns against one of the healthiest diets in the world. Fresh fish, beans and legumes, whole grains, bountiful vegetables and fruits, and olive oil provide the foundation for the Med Diet.
Sara Baer-Sinnott, president of Oldways and one of the founders of the worldwide recognition program, said that more than 1,000 people had taken the “How Mediterranean is your diet?” quiz within the first week of its launch. She noted how far U.S consumers have come since 1993, when she helped pioneer the introduction of the diet to the American market. “People were afraid of fat then,” she said. Not anymore.
— Oldways (@OldwaysPT) May 11, 2016
The quiz, she said, is “a new way of helping people become familiar with ways to make their diet healthier. Every week another scientific study is released showing why this particular diet is so (impactful). And then it’s so delicious!”
One central reason for that is olive oil. Baer-Sinnott quoted Greek nutritionist Antonina Trichopoulou considered by some to be the mother of the Mediterranean Diet: “Olive oil makes the vegetables go down.” It also contains, in its purest, freshest form, a slew of antioxidant properties that prevent and heal disease.
“It’s so exciting,” Sinnott added. “There are now so many different olive oils to try and people are learning that you can use different ones in cooking and preparation, finishing, and adding immense flavor. It’s fun to try oils from the U.S. but also internationally from across the Mediterranean and countries as far and wide as Australia and Chile, Japan, and beyond.”
Oldways is posting exclusive interviews as “Med Month” blogs with experts like the author Michael Pollen, Food Tank, and Trichopoulou to further delve into the benefits and deliciousness of this approach to food. They’ll be offering suggestions for favorite cookbooks, recipes, tips, and more that relate to the category, and a free 28-day Mediterranean Diet plan is available for all who take the quiz.
On May 19, in conjunction with the Harvard School of Public Health and other Mediterranean Food Alliance partners, Sinnott and Oldways will be hosting a Twitter party.