Experts have said that the abundance of fish oil in the Mediterranean diet can have significant benefits for weight management and other health matters. Now findings newly released by the Miriam Hospital and the Rhode Island Community Food Bank show that eating lots of fruits, vegetables and fish as part of a Mediterranean diet could also help your monthly grocery bill slim down.
A statement from the cohort of researchers explains that it’s often assumed that eating healthy is more expensive than consuming lots of fast foods and snacks. However, when less of a food budget is dedicated to purchasing potentially high-calorie meats with low nutritional benefits, and instead spent on more plants, money can be saved.
Lead study author and research dietitian at the Miriam Hospital Mary Flynn, Ph.D., got the idea to conduct this research from speaking with participants in prior studies on chronic disease.
“I had a number of people – mainly women from my breast cancer weight loss study – say how inexpensive a Mediterranean-style diet was,” she announced. “So I approached the food bank about designing a study using food pantry items for the recipes.”
During the course of this six-month study – wherein grocery recipes were collected from 63 participants, Flynn said that on average, spending more money on fruits and vegetables and less on meat brought about 50 percent in weekly savings on food. Subjects were typically low-income and recruited through a food bank, and their reliance on their food bank’s services also dropped by approximately 15 percent.
Some tips for applying the Mediterranean diet to your life
If it sounds difficult or time consuming to change up your habits to fit Mediterranean-style eating – and enjoying the possible benefits to cardiovascular health – consider some of the advice provided by The Patriot News, based in Pennsylvania.
Shehab Saba – a Mediterranean-diet advocate and pita store owner – told the news source that an easy way to save money on olive oil is to buy it in larger quantities. Amanda Dolan from Capital BlueCross also told the source that growing your own vegetables can save money and produce foods with fewer additives than are found in some supermarkets. While some experts encourage people to eat organics, Dolan and other experts told The Patriot News that the pricier products aren’t necessary for a productive Mediterranean diet.