Health: More Than Just Olive Oil

The benefits of Mediterranean diets are real, but you can't drizzle them on

For decades, doctors have been intrigued by the apparent health benefits of the so-called Mediterranean diet, which is not really a diet the way most people think of one. It's more of a dietary pattern--or rather, several complementary dietary patterns that have existed around the Mediterranean basin for centuries. Typical Mediterranean diets emphasize lots of fruits, cooked vegetables and legumes, grains (whole, not refined) and, in moderation, wine, nuts, fish and dairy products, particularly yogurt and cheese. But most Americans tend to focus on one component of these diets--olive oil--as if it were a magical potion that you could drizzle over...

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