The pandemic has raised awareness of the importance of a healthy diet.
A new conscious approach to nutrition
"There is little doubt that Covid-19 has woken up Americans in many ways – reports Forbes - The first is a new understanding of what and how they eat and how these foods and beverages have a significant effect on their stamina, strength, and immunity to fight off viruses and other health abnormalities. Shoppers have changed how they are choosing their foods with a new yearning for reading labels, understanding what ingredients are in their foods, where their foods come from and which foods they should avoid."
A new trend
The trend had already begun in previous years. As early as 2019, Harvard Health Publishing reported improvements in Americans' diets: "Americans are starting to eat a healthier diet, but we still have a long way to go, suggests a study (which included Harvard research) published Sept. 24, 2019, in Jama. Researchers looked at health survey responses gathered from 1999 to 2016 from almost 44,000 American men and women. The good news: during the study, participants improved on the 100-point Healthy Eating Index, thanks to higher intakes of high-quality carbohydrates (such as whole grains), plant protein (such as whole grains and nuts), and unsaturated fats; and lower intakes of added sugars."
It is a good start, but for experts, there is much more to do
Although experts generally agree that more is to be done, these trends reflect an increased public awareness of the health risks associated with poor diet. CDC also warns Americans about the importance of a healthy, balanced diet: "Fewer than 1 in 10 adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables, and 9 in 10 Americans aged 2 years or older consume more than the recommended amount of sodium (…) In addition, 6 in 10 young people aged 2 to 19 years and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day. Processed foods and sugary drinks add unneeded sodium, saturated fats, and sugar to many diets, increasing the risk of chronic diseases (…) Eating a healthy diet, along with getting enough physical activity and sleep, can help children grow up healthy and prevent overweight and obesity. In the United States, 19% of young people aged 2 to 19 years and 40% of adults have obesity, which can put them at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers."
The Mediterranean Diet
As Italians, we can't help but be big fans of the Mediterranean Diet. It is a complete and very effective diet to improve our health. More than an actual diet, it represents a lifestyle. Mediterranean Diet includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and heart-healthy fats. A fundamental element is also extra virgin olive oil. It is associated with endless health benefits: it supports brain function, regulates blood sugar levels, promotes heart health, promotes weight loss, prevents heart attacks, strokes, and type 2 diabetes. In short, there are many reasons to adopt the principles of the Mediterranean Diet in your daily routine!