It’s May. The month for potatoes, Mediterranean style.

May is Mediterranean Diet Month, a promotional campaign created by Oldways, a food and nutrition educational nonprofit and its Mediterranean Foods Alliance, whose members include the U.S. Potato Board.

The goal of the month-long campaign is to raise awareness of the delicious foods and remarkable health benefits associated with the traditional Mediterranean lifestyle and dietary pattern, which emphasizes fruits and vegetables, beans and nuts, whole grains, fish, olive oil, small amounts of dairy and red wine. 

Retailers and nutritionists alike will take this opportunity to shine a light on the recognized “gold standard” of healthy eating patterns. Myriad health benefits––from reducing your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes to improving your brain function and lengthening your life––have been attributed to the Med Diet and are the subject of continuing research.

Potatoes are in the Picture!

Naturally, potatoes are an important staple in Mediterranean cooking. As you can see from the Mediterranean Diet pyramid, plant-based foods form the foundation of the daily eating pattern. Olives and olive oil, a healthy monounsaturated fat, are also key ingredients.

Med Diet Pyramid

 

The diet is characterized by lower amounts of saturated fats, with red meat limited to several times a month; fish, poultry and eggs twice a week; and moderate daily amounts of cheese and yogurt. It’s also characterized by an abundance of fresh produce, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, delivering a daily feast of vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals and other important nutrients.

 

In the case of potatoes, that means a healthy dose of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber and more.

You’ll find many examples of how to eat potatoes Mediterranean style on the Oldways website. Use our EasyPrep Natural Wedges, Slices or whole Maine Russet potatoes in these and other recipes, and you’ll discover how quick and easy it is to eat healthy.

The Mediterranean Diet Monthpromotion is a good reminder that potatoes are part of one of the world’s healthiest dietary patterns. For the potato industry, it’s a great message to get behind every month.

Jay McCrum, CEO

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