Tips from Nutrition Expert Dr. Solmaz Amirnazmi of Summit Medical Group Livingston

LIVINGSTON, NJ – There’s a delicious, nutritious, and easy way to start the New Year. It’s based on the Mediterranean Diet. These traditional foods we’ve come to know and love are largely part of Mediterranean countries, and are characterized by a balance of vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains, protein and healthy fats. Dr. Solmaz Amirnazmi of Summit Medical Group in Livingston is an internal medicine specialist who emphasizes nutrition in her practice, and is an expert on the Mediterranean Diet.

The health benefits of a Mediterranean Diet include reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, diabetes, and high cholesterol. As a bonus, a plant-based diet leads to weight loss and increased energy levels. In a recent finding in the ongoing Nurses Health Study, the Mediterranean diet was also associated with longer telomeres (a compound structure at the end of a chromosome). Telomere length is a biomarker of aging. The hypothesis is that the main ingredients of this diet have well known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, properties that positively impact telomere length.

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“There’s nothing radical about this way of eating, except that it makes you feel ‘radically good,’” claims Dr. Amirnazmi.

To follow the Mediterranean Diet, aim to base meals on fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts and whole grains. Use healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil instead of unhealthy saturated fats like butter.

People often ask if this diet is vegetarian, “This diet does not exclude any food groups but places an emphasis on an abundance of plant-based ingredients. It is not necessarily non-meat. Also, fish is eaten on a regular basis in the Mediterranean diet,” says Dr. Amirnazmi.

Dr. Amirnazmi participated in a Twitter Chat for USNewsHealth (U.S. News & World Report HEALTH) on Tuesday Dec. 16. She stressed some of the advice below.

“This is a satisfying, convenient way of eating, and of life. You will feel the benefits in energy and vitality, and most importantly, take a step toward controlling your life,” says Dr. Amirnazmi.

To start your New Year’s Mediterranean Diet, Dr. Amirnazmi suggests stocking up on fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes, seeds, spices, herbs and olive oil.

To expand your knowledge, Dr. Amirnazmi advises, “Use resources like the Internet and books with tips and plant-based recipes to help you get started. You can also be creative and find ways to adapt your traditional meals with more Mediterranean diet ingredients.”

To make an appointment at Summit Medical Group Internal Medicine in Livingston, please call 973-994-2200.


Summit Medical Group (SMG) is the largest privately held multispecialty medical practice in New Jersey. SMG maintains a 42-acre healthcare campus in Berkeley Heights and more than 50 additional practice locations in central and northern New Jersey. As an East Coast premier multispecialty group, SMG has provided exceptional primary and specialty care since 1929. For more information, visit