As TASTY as it gets – learn about the trial that aims to study the efficacy of the mediTerranean diet in low diseASe activiTY rheumatoid arthritis

Despite the marked progress over the past decades, managing Rheumatoid Arthritis remains a challenge and major unmet needs persist. The beneficial effects of the Mediterranean Diet in health and disease have been widely reported, but only a small number of trials have focused on Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Members of the consortium have demonstrated that increased adherence to Mediterranean Diet is associated with lower Rheumatoid Arthritis disease activity scores. These results were promising and established strong foundations for the TASTY trial. The TASTY trial is a diet intervention study in Rheumatoid Arthritis, with the duration of 12 weeks, conducted at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon/Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM).

In the TASTY trial we go further and explore the role of a modified Mediterranean Diet pattern, with specific foods aimed at modifying gut microbiota, such as fermented foods. We will implement a Clinical Culinary model, an evidence-based component of clinical care that incorporates knowledge of nutrition science, including food and cooking, into current medical disease prevention and treatment. This approach intends to empower patients and create a positive behaviour change, by providing knowledge and teaching specific skills to improve patients’ health.

In this trial we hypothesise that the proposed dietary intervention might promote gut eubiosis, improve intestinal function and intestinal barrier integrity, reduce endotoxemia, decrease Rheumatoid Arthritis disease activity and improve the functional status and quality of life of these patients.

For the trial, we recruit patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, with more than one year of disease duration, low disease activity, on stable medication and with a low or medium adherence to the Mediterranean Diet. Participants are being randomly assigned into the control or intervention group. The intervention group will receive the educational-based nutritional intervention, which includes:

  • Personalised nutritional plan based on the Mediterranean Diet and enriched in fermented foods, implemented, and monitored by certified dietitians
  • Educational food baskets with key components of the dietary intervention, including olive oil, canned fish, kefir, kombucha, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains
  • Educational digital content, including recipe books with Mediterranean inspired healthy meal ideas, educational videos on diet and Rheumatoid Arthritis, and an online cooking course
  • Clinical culinary workshop at the faculty’s Nutrition Lab with live cooking


A taste of our educational content

  1. The Recipe Book with Mediterranean inspired meals and the Patient’s Manual, which includes objectives to be achieved by the intervention group, portion sizes and seasonal fruits and vegetables by month.

2. Video on the principle of the Mediterranean Diet

TASTY Trial – mediTerranean diet in low diseASe activiTY rheumatoid arthritis (

3. Introduction for the online cooking course

TASTY Trial – Introduction Cooking School (