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On September 18, Dr. Andrew Torkelson, Cardiologist at NLH,
presented the lecture
Dietary Impact on Health: Understanding
the Magic of the Mediterranean Diet.
This inaugural talk kicked
off a new annual series—
The John H. Ohler, MD Community
Health Lectures.
Dr. Torkelson, a Dartmouth-Hitchcock Attending Cardiologist
of 30 years before joining the medical staff of NLH, has a
longstanding interest in primary and secondary prevention
of coronary heart disease, including related lifestyle choices.
The good doctor puts his knowledge into personal practice.
When not working,
he enjoys cycling 50 to 100 miles a week.
Once the snow starts to fall, he trades his
bike in for cross country skis.) In pursuit
of understanding the Mediterranean diet,
he has biked through France, Italy, Spain
and yes, England, where even the British
have embraced this beneficial diet.
In his lecture, Dr. Torkelson discussed how
routine choices can lead to heart disease
early in life and that lifestyle changes such
as incorporating regular exercise and healthy
eating practices like the Mediterranean
diet can make a difference. Dr. Torkelson explained how the Mediterranean diet
may help reduce the risk of death from heart disease, lower cholesterol, and help
prevent type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, Parkinson’s disease
and stroke. Focusing on fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains, the Mediterranean diet
limits the intake of meats, cheeses, butter and sweets—foods high in saturated fats.
After the lecture, attendees enjoyed a 24-variety tomato tasting provided by Spring
Ledge Farm and had the opportunity to peruse a variety of Mediterranean diet cookbooks
available for purchase from Morgan Hill Bookstore.
What’s on
the Menu?
Key Components of the
Mediterranean Diet
Eat a variety of fruits
and vegetables, whole
grains, legumes
and nuts.
Replace unhealthy
fats (saturated) like
butter with healthy
fats (unsaturated)
such as olive oil.
Limit red meat to
no more than a few
times a month.
Eat fish at least two
times a week.
Limit your sweets
and desserts.
Try using herbs and
spices instead of salts
to flavor food.
The Mediterranean
diet may also include
red wine
in moderation)
with your meal.
What About That Olive Oil and Wine?
Understanding the Mediterranean Diet
Dr. Andrew Torkelson
Dr. John Ohler practiced medicine in New London from 1953 to 1988.
He was a highly respected physician, by both colleagues and
patients. He was also an active community volunteer during his
career and in retirement. In Dr. Ohler’s memory, NLH medical staff
created a fund to support an annual lecture to benefit healthcare
professionals and the public.
L to R)
Karen Zurheide, Vice President
Community Relations and Development;
Jack Kirk, MD; Priscilla Ohler; Andrew
Torkelson, MD; Kris Eschbach, DO,
of NLH Medical Staff