Mediterranean Diet

Some experts say that the Mediterranean diet is more effective than exercise alone! You be the judge.

Both findings were gleaned from an eleven-year study of the Mediterranean diet, presented recently at the American College of Cardiology’s 64th Annual Scientific Session in San Diego.

Researchers gathered data from 2,500 Greek adults age 18 and 89 from 2001 to 2012. Participants also provided a wealth of information on their lifestyle, medical history and dietary habits.

Participants’ adherence to the Med diet was scored on a 1 to 55 scale. Taking into account other factors that would affect risk, those who earned marks in the top third had a 47 percent lower chance of getting heart disease over the 10-year period compared to those who fell in the bottom third. The study also reveals that the Mediterranean diet has direct benefits for heart health, in addition to its indirect benefits in managing diabetes, hypertension and inflammation.”

Why is this such an effective healthy eating strategy, for stable weight and cardiovascular perks? A lot of these foods have anti-inflammatory benefits, and that’s the correlation. You’ve also got monounsaturated fats, which lower cholesterol levels, and the diet is high in fiber, which is also linked to lower heart disease risk.”

Whether you think of it as the “Mediterranean Diet “or simply as sane, healthy eating, the premise is exactly the same. The important point of the diet is that it relies on an abundance of food from plant sources. Lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts — and, although not all people think of them as healthy, potatoes and breads, too, preferably of the whole-grain variety.”

There’s also room for a little richness and indulgence on this diet, “Healthy fats like olive oil and avocado are staples, choosing these over butter and margarine, modest dairy intake daily is also acceptable, like an ounce of cheese or a cup of Greek yogurt, as well as a glass of red wine a day. Just keep your glass a day to a maximum six-ounce pour.

In terms of protein, opt for fish and poultry over red meat. The diet also encourages the use of eggs, with garlic and herbs to season.

The Mediterranean diet is great way to eat healthy, so don’t gamble with your heart, eat more fruits and veggies, get moving and always keep fitness first!

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