Learning to Cook & Eat the Med Way

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MIM Class pose together in a kitchen.Recent graduates of Cooperative Extension’s 6-week “Med Instead of Meds” class series learned about the Mediterranean-style eating pattern, shown to promote health and decrease risk of many chronic diseases. The Mediterranean-style eating pattern
incorporates the basics of healthy eating that are traditionally practiced in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.

Eating the Mediterranean way:

  • Decreases the risk of some forms of cancer.
  • Is more effective than a low-fat diet for weight loss in overweight and obese individuals.
  • Protects against cognitive decline by protecting the small blood vessels in the brain. 40% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s when you eat the Med way.
  • May improve eye health including decreasing the risk of macular degeneration.
  • Decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes. In one study, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was reduced by 52% when eating the Med way.
  • Can help manage blood pressure.
  • Can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) as much as 30–60%.

A group of adults stand behind a table of food.The Mediterranean-style eating pattern is not only healthy, it is delicious and satisfying. Participants prepared several recipes that help incorporate fruits & vegetables, plant-based foods, whole grains, nuts & seeds, olive oil, herbs & spices, and seafood as an everyday part of the diet.

Fourteen students (including two couples, two County Extension Advisory Council members, 3 Extension & Community Association members, and several county employees) completed the series, learning to plan, shop, and cook. Five (5) volunteers helped Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Agent Nancy Abasiekong facilitate the class.