16
October
2013

The Mediterranean Diet and Its Effectiveness

Learn all about the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is a heart-healthy eating plan based on foods and typical recipes from Mediterranean-style cooking, such as fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, while limiting unhealthy fats. This diet comes from Greece, Spain and Southern Italy. This diet incorporates healthy eating, while adding some flavorful olive oil, and pairing meals with a delicious rich glass of red wine, is another plus to this diet. In fact, research shows that this traditional diet can reduce the risk of heart disease. One study of more than 1.5 million healthy individuals showed that this diet was associated with a reduced risk of death due to heart disease and cancer, as well as a reduced risk for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Let’s first examine the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid that actually has some similarities to the food pyramid we all grew up learning about. At the bottom of the pyramid there are fruits, vegetables, grains (mostly whole), olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices. Every meal is based on these foods. The Middle of the pyramid includes fish and seafood. These foods should be consumed at least twice a week. The top of the pyramid contains meats and sugars, which should be consumed only on occasion, once or two per month.

This diet emphasizes that butter should be replaced with olive oil, and only used sparingly. Herbs and spices should be used instead of salt, to flavor food. Only consume red meat once or twice a month, and consuming sugars should occur infrequently as well. Those that follow this diet typically consume six or more servings fruits and vegetables each day. Nuts are another part of this healthy diet, even though nuts are high in fat, it is a healthy fat that provides nutrients and keeps us fuller for longer periods of time. But, because nuts have a high caloric count, they should not be eaten in large amounts. It is suggested that only a handful of nuts, a day, should be consumed. Also, it is important to avoid honey-roasted, or salted nuts. This diet does permit one glass of red wine with meals.

In to order to adapt your current diet to the Mediterranean-style, you need to be conscience of how much red meat you are consuming, and switch over to consuming more fish, seafood and chicken. This diet is all about fresh, fresh, fresh! Add a surplus of fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet, with herbs and spices for flavor. Notice that this diet doesn’t call for any dairy products. Minimize your dairy consumption. If you’re a milk lover, switch to soy or almond milk instead. Cheese can be consumed, but in moderation as it is high in fat. Greek yogurt- well it is called “greek” yogurt, after all. Like mentioned above, avoid butter at all costs.

The delicious, fresh, low fat (and red wine approved) Mediterranean diet can promote heart health. But, with any diet, it can go without saying, that physical exercise and activity are also great contributors. When putting delicious fresh, healthy foods into your body, make sure you are also taking good care of your body by getting sufficient exercise and activity.

Categories: Food and Health

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Nutrition Facts

16
October
2013

The Mediterranean Diet and Its Effectiveness

Learn all about the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is a heart-healthy eating plan based on foods and typical recipes from Mediterranean-style cooking, such as fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, while limiting unhealthy fats. This diet comes from Greece, Spain and Southern Italy. This diet incorporates healthy eating, while adding some flavorful olive oil, and pairing meals with a delicious rich glass of red wine, is another plus to this diet. In fact, research shows that this traditional diet can reduce the risk of heart disease. One study of more than 1.5 million healthy individuals showed that this diet was associated with a reduced risk of death due to heart disease and cancer, as well as a reduced risk for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Let’s first examine the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid that actually has some similarities to the food pyramid we all grew up learning about. At the bottom of the pyramid there are fruits, vegetables, grains (mostly whole), olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices. Every meal is based on these foods. The Middle of the pyramid includes fish and seafood. These foods should be consumed at least twice a week. The top of the pyramid contains meats and sugars, which should be consumed only on occasion, once or two per month.

This diet emphasizes that butter should be replaced with olive oil, and only used sparingly. Herbs and spices should be used instead of salt, to flavor food. Only consume red meat once or twice a month, and consuming sugars should occur infrequently as well. Those that follow this diet typically consume six or more servings fruits and vegetables each day. Nuts are another part of this healthy diet, even though nuts are high in fat, it is a healthy fat that provides nutrients and keeps us fuller for longer periods of time. But, because nuts have a high caloric count, they should not be eaten in large amounts. It is suggested that only a handful of nuts, a day, should be consumed. Also, it is important to avoid honey-roasted, or salted nuts. This diet does permit one glass of red wine with meals.

In to order to adapt your current diet to the Mediterranean-style, you need to be conscience of how much red meat you are consuming, and switch over to consuming more fish, seafood and chicken. This diet is all about fresh, fresh, fresh! Add a surplus of fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet, with herbs and spices for flavor. Notice that this diet doesn’t call for any dairy products. Minimize your dairy consumption. If you’re a milk lover, switch to soy or almond milk instead. Cheese can be consumed, but in moderation as it is high in fat. Greek yogurt- well it is called “greek” yogurt, after all. Like mentioned above, avoid butter at all costs.

The delicious, fresh, low fat (and red wine approved) Mediterranean diet can promote heart health. But, with any diet, it can go without saying, that physical exercise and activity are also great contributors. When putting delicious fresh, healthy foods into your body, make sure you are also taking good care of your body by getting sufficient exercise and activity.

Categories: Food and Health

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