Welcome! My name is Alex Johnson and I created Medmunch.
We help make the Mediterranean diet practical for everyday life for people in the UK.
Why I started Medmunch
I’ve always enjoyed helping people out with their nutrition. I was one of those science geeks. I loved reading new studies, discovering what works and what was rubbish.
As I read into more of the science, it became more apparent how useful the Mediterranean diet framework could be for so many people.
So in 2016, I purchased the domain medmunch.net.
The reason? I didn’t see any information on the Mediterranean diet that kept things simple.
I saw too many recipes with strange or expensive ingredients, or information that was too generic.
I also wanted to make sure there were no ads or sponsorships on Medmunch. I wanted the information to remain respectable and backed by scientific research.
Improve Health Markers By Eating Mediterranean
Cardiovascular disease accounts for 155,000 deaths in the UK. This makes up a quarter of deaths each year.
One of the first UK studies of the Mediterranean diet gathered data about eating habits among nearly 24,000 people in Norfolk over 12 to 17 years. The researchers found that 12.5% of heart attack and stroke deaths that occurred could have been prevented if that population increased their adherence to the Mediterranean diet.
In the context of the UK as a whole, that would be 19,000 deaths averted out of the 155,000 that occur as a result of heart disease every year (1).
So that’s pretty significant reason to get more people interested in following Mediterranean.
It has been studied extensively and many of the conclusions come to the same results – the Mediterranean diet is a scientifically proven way to improve a variety of health markers, including:
- Reduced oxidized LDL cholesterol (2)
- Preventing the development of type 2 diabetes (3)
- Improving symptoms of diabetes (4)
- Reduced risk of heart disease (5)
- Reduced metabollic condition, which includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and triglyceride levels (6)
Whether you need to improve a specific health indicator or just your overall health, a Mediterranean diet approach to eating is recommended for most people.
Lose Weight Sustainably & Forget Fads Forever
In 2015, 58% of women and 68% of men were overweight or obese (7). In that same year, there were 525,000 admissions in NHS hospitals where obesity was a factor, costing the NHS at least £5.1 billion (8).
These numbers are only growing despite more and more diets entering the public domain.
Many of these diets have similar problems:
- They are very restrictive.Whether that’s fats, calories, carbohydrates, they mainly focus on deprivation. Although some people can keep it up, most won’t. When they don’t follow those guidelines, their weight often rebounds back to their pre-diet standards and sometimes more (9, 10).
- They aren’t based on good scientific data.Most ‘fad’ diets aren’t recommended by health professionals because the scientific studies show they are often an unhealthy way of eating. Even if they show impressive before and after pictures, you should also remember that was only one point in time, with no indication of their mental or physical health.
- They aren’t enjoyable.One of the biggest precursors to healthy long-term eating and not just a short-term fix is actually enjoying the food. If you aren’t enjoying what you eat, you only have so much willpower before you go back to your old eating habits.
Yo-yo dieting has been shown to not be very healthy long-term, in many aspects.
In one review, 11 out of 19 studies found that a history of yo-yo dieting predicted higher body fat percentage and greater belly fat (11). Adults with a history of yo-yo dieting report feeling dissatisfied with their lives and health (12).
The graph below (credit) shows why fad dieting isn’t effective long-term.
Weight tends to drop rapidly within the fix six months, but then slowly edges up and plateaus. After two years, there’s actually little difference between the different diets.
Ultimately the best “diet” is the one you stick to. That’s why we make all our recipes quick, tasty and affordable so that you actually want to keep cooking them for good.
I want you to never feel the need to try another diet again.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint and Help Fight Climate Change
The consensus is we are going to have to reduce meat consumption if we’re going to tackle global warming.
Livestock contribute directly to about 9% of greenhouse gases and 3% of UK emissions in 2009. However, when you take all parts of the livestock lifecycle, the number jumps to 18% of global emissions and 8% in the UK (13).
Most of us accept we should probably try and reduce our carbon footprint.
But you still need to get on with life. You need to use the car over the train. You’re probably not going to give up your holidays abroad for the sake of a few tonnes of CO2.
However, adopting a plant-based diet is one of the easiest and most effective changes you can make to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s also one of the changes we have the most control. We all have to eat, no matter what.
There are major environmental benefits to simply lowering your meat consumption, even if you don’t remove meat completely. It doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing mentality.
Climate models find that whilst vegan and vegetarian diets reduce your carbon footprint more than any other dietary choice, a Mediterranean diet is close.
Studies are showing that if everyone were to move towards the Mediterranean diet, it’s the equivalent of taking about a billion or more cars of pollution out of the planet every year.
To put that in perspective, Houlton’s models show that global adoption of a Mediterranean diet could help reduce global warming by up to 15 percent by 2050.
Praise for Medunch…
I’ve been using the menu planner and some variations within Med in 28 for almost a year. We felt fitter, generally healthier and slimmer after around six weeks. We dipped in and out of the diet and weight has held steady and my cholesterol gradually improved. I really appreciated Alex’s focus on customer service and commitment to helping us. The meals have been really tasty. I used to hate tomatoes, but now look forward to the recipes we have that use that. Overall I’ve been very please. Well done Alex, I am a convert!
– Gordon McMurray
I’ve really enjoyed the healthy eating have found breakfast and lunch ideas very helpful. I married up your menus with the sugar free 800 calorie diet and it’s been just super. Everything has been quick, easy to cook and full of flavour. I have dipped into a lot: fig, prosciutto salad, fish dishes, harissa chicken and the breakfast ideas. All good. The aubergine bake was an absolute winner. It really isn’t a diet but a lifestyle choice with no hardship or guilt needed.
– Dalene Robertson
The diet has been a revelation for me, I’ve really enjoyed following it! Great job with the meal plans and recipes.
-Bruce Sneddon, Warwickshire
I have to say I really enjoyed following your Mediterranean plan. I actually didn’t find it difficult making changes to my diet as the food was really tasty. I lost a few pounds without having to try. It’s also taught me to make better healthier choices with my food and I have been encouraging my daughter to start. Thank you for your continued support, I’ve never done anything like this before and thought I’d struggle, quite the opposite.
– Annabel L
We found the recipes on the 7 day taster plan very interesting and tasty, yet filled my husband up enough, so we tried the 28 day plan. After 6 weeks my husband had lost 7 kg. We both love the recipes and I have to say our palettes have changed and we much prefer eating this way. Just as important his blood test results are significantly better for his diabetes and levels of triglycerides. Over a year later we still follow your recipes as we thoroughly enjoy them. Thanks for everything!
– Dawn Keddie, owner at Le Cerf Holiday Chalet
I found the plan very interesting and lost 3lbs over the month. Your menus are very tasty and easily digestible. I’ll certainly be continuing with the recipes and menus on a rotational basis. I especially liked the moussaka. Thank you so much!
– Susan Webb