What is her secret? The fishermen in the small Galician village of Fisterra don’t know it, they just eat the way they’ve always eaten there. Maybe it’s the climate, says Sito Mendoza to the Guardian. In any case, it is probably healthy. And so healthy that a real hype has arisen around the so-called Atlantic diet. It is said to be even better than the much-praised Mediterranean diet and was considered by many to be the healthiest in the world. What differentiates the two diets? Subtleties.

Fresh, local, seasonal, sustainable, little processed – if you had to summarize the Atlantic eating habits, these would be the most important keywords. There, in the north-west of Spain and north of Portugal, what the sea and land have to offer has always been served on the table: lots of fish and seafood, fruit, vegetables, grains, legumes as well as dairy products and a good dash of olive oil. Meat, mainly beef and pork, as well as eggs are only eaten in moderation.

The concept is not unknown. The related Mediterranean diet is defined in a very similar way. Similar, but not the same, as María del Mar Calvo Malvar emphasizes in the Washington Post. The expert participated in both the Atlantic Diet study and the later analysis. She explains that in the north people eat more dairy products and cruciferous vegetables such as kohlrabi, turnips, kale, cabbage and cauliflower than in the south and drink more wine instead of beer. In addition, the Mediterranean diet usually includes more pasta, while the Atlantic diet includes other starchy foods such as chestnuts, potatoes and bread.

“In the media recently, the Atlantic diet has often been presented as just a variant of the Mediterranean diet,” says del Mar Calvo Malvar. However, the Atlantic diet is “very different in its culinary traditions,” she told the Washington Post. In Atlantic gastronomy there is a lot of stewing and stewing, whereas in the Mediterranean region there is more fried food. The Atlantic diet is a simple, traditional cuisine that does not require any extravagances, but is good for your health, as a study shows.

Metabolic syndrome or “fatal quartet” occurs when certain factors occur in combination – obesity, high blood pressure and high blood sugar and blood lipid levels. In Germany, around 20 percent of people are affected by this disease of affluence, which develops through eating a lot and not exercising much. The result: The risk of vascular diseases, stroke, heart attack or type 2 diabetes increases.

As the analysis showed, changing the diet to the Atlantic diet had positive effects on the health of the study participants. Evidence of improved metabolic health as well as lower cholesterol levels and body mass indices were observed. Compared to the control group, study participants had a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome or components of it. Why this is so is still unclear and, according to the research team, needs to be researched further.

“This does not mean that the ingredients are healthy in themselves – it means that the pattern and combination of these foods have a healthy effect,” says Rosaura Leis, chair of the scientific committee of the Atlantic Nutrition Foundation at the University of Santiago de Compostela , the results of the analysis for the “Guardian”. Ultimately, these confirmed what has long been recommended as a healthy diet: a varied and varied diet that includes quantities as well as physical activity and health.

In addition, it is not just the food that plays a role, but also the context of the meal and the social aspect – sharing and enjoying. And, as Fisterra’s Bienvenido Martinéz sums it up: “We’re not in a hurry here… When we sit down to eat, we sit down to eat. We don’t do anything stupid.”

Quellen:Studie Atlantic Diet, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Atlantic Diet, Metabolic Syndrome