Mediterranean Diet & You

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Mediterranean diet is best for your heart. It is the way to eat and drink to your health. It is rich in vegetables, grains (rice, pasta), fish, fruit and dried beans.The Mediterranean diet is a wonderfully healthy diet and an extremely easy one to adapt to our stressful and fast paced lifestyles.

This diet is a balanced diet full of a variety of foods and can be followed easily. A main factor in the appeal is its rich, full flavored foods.It is also very low in saturated fat & includes plentiful amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Another reason why the Mediterranean diet is good for you lies in the fact that the diet includes the consumption of a significant amount of fruit and vegetables.

Whether you want to lose weight, lower your cholesterol, eat more fruits and vegetables, or just feel healthier in general, adopting a Mediterranean Diet is a great way to eat better while enjoying a delicious variety of food.

The Mediterranean diet is low in red meat & hence the diet plan works to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol.

Mediterranean diet is high in whole grains and fiber as well as in ant-oxidants. It is also low in dairy products.

Longevity

The history of the people of the Mediterranean region demonstrates that the Mediterranean diet works to extend a person’s life.

The Mediterranean diet is one of the most suggested nutritional behaviors of the world. Adherence to it is associated with a significant reduction in mortality.Recent news reports that the Mediterranean diet is preferable for people suffering diabetes over low-carb diabetic diet.

There are a number of reasons why it is proving itself to be good for men of all ages. In addition to assisting men in fighting obesity and bringing their weight down to a healthy level, the Mediterranean diet is effective in aiding men to maintain a healthy weight over time.

Mediterranean diet is similar to the American Heart Association’s Step I diet, but it contains less cholesterol and has more fats. Its focus isn’t to limit total fat consumption, but to make wise choices about the types of fat you eat. Adopting a Mediterranean diet is easy if you’re a smart shopper.

The Mediterranean Diet is the diet of Southern Italy in the early ’60s. It is definitely light on potatoes. Its striking characteristic is its heavy use of olive oil as the primary source of fat, and their minimal use of both butter and margarine.

In fact, the Mediterranean diet is simply closer to what people have eaten for millennia.

Numerous studies have shown that the low-fat, high-fiber Mediterranean diet is one of the best recipes against health problems such as arthritis, obesity, diabetes, asthma and cardiovascular disease.

In fact latest research now shows that Spain is top of the European longevity league tables and it is widely believed that the Mediterranean diet is responsible for this.The main oil used in the med diet is olive, traditionally cold pressed virgin, and this is used not only for cooking and in salads but also for putting on bread in place of butter.

Olive oil

Olive oil rather than butter or cream is the primary source of fat in Mediterranean diet. Olive oil is often used alone or in substitution for other oils, butter, and margarine.

It is rich in a type of fat that readily converts to a fatty acid similar to omega-3. Olive oil is used as the primary cooking oil in Italy and Greece, and is a source of monounsaturated fat, which is much easier for the body to break down.

Olive oil, produced from the olive trees prominent throughout Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Turkey, Italy, Spain and other Mediterranean nations, adds to the distinctive taste of the food.

Olive oil also offers several health advantages over more polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Olive oil compounds also increase enzymes that block activation of carcinogens and improve their removal from the body.

Olive oil is also a good source of antioxidants. It contains anti oxidant Oleic acid that reduces the risk of breast cancer. It also contains vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, and K, Iron Poli-phenols.

Olive oil has been associated with lower blood pressure, a lower risk for heart disease, and possible benefits for people with type 2 diabetes.

Foods are cooked with extra virgin olive oil and enjoyed with small amounts of red wine. Instead of cooking with butter and spreading it on foods, use olive oil or canola oil.

But unlike the saturated fats that we commonly eat (such as butter, margarine, vegetable oil, trans fats) the primary fats of the Mediterranean Diet consist of monounsaturated fats (found in Olive Oil) which provide the health benefits for your heart.

The research shows that wine is better than beer or spirits at protecting against heart disease, that olive oil can reduce the risk of bowel cancer and that garlic may lower cholesterol levels.

Vegetables

The Mediterranean diet is one that is rich in vegetables, grains (rice, pasta), fish, fruit and dried beans. The other important factor is to make the consumption of fruits and vegetables a daily habit.

The vitamins, minerals, photochemical and fiber provided by the diets large amounts of vegetables, fruits, grains and beans are believed to account for the inhabitants of the Mediterranean countries lower incidence of cancer otherwise commonly found in the United States.

A comprehensive study by Sonia Anand of McMaster University has established that vegetables, nuts, monounsaturated fatty acids and overall healthy dietary patterns such as the Mediterranean diet are best for reducing the risk of heart disease.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes intake of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes.

Substitute a changing array of fresh vegetables and legumes for rice and potato side dishes.

Fruits

Typical fruits consumed in Med diet are: apples, pears, oranges, Mandarin, apricots, peaches, grape, water-melons, melons, raspberries, strawberries, chestnuts, walnuts, nuts, almonds, pistachio nuts.

People who follow the Mediterranean diet and consume generous servings of fruits and vegetables each day have a lower incidence of certain diseases including cancer and cardiovascular ailments.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes intake of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes.

Nuts

Nuts, legumes, and beans are consumed daily.

Most of the studies have focused on the Mediterranean diet, emphasizing the consumption of high amounts of virgin / extra virgin olive oil (up to one liter per week) or nuts (up to 30 grams a day, or two handfuls), in comparison to a low-fat diet.

Foods like vegetables, nuts and monosaturated fatty acids are very beneficial for the heart.

But if you eat a reasonable amount of calories and swap out candy bars for nuts, the data says you will be healthier.

The Mediterranean diet shifts towards more plant-based nutrition, as well as proteins from sources like beans and nuts rather than red meats.

Some of the desirable food items:

Bread, pasta, rice,

Vegetables: Spinach, Cauliflowers, Carrots, Eggplants, Tomatoes, broccoli, capsicum, capers, garlic and onion

Fruit: Olives, Grape, Oranges, Lemons, Apples, cherries, Strawberries, peaches, apricots

Legumes: beans, peas

Nuts: Walnuts, Almonds, Pistachio nuts

Oil: olive

Honey

Milk and cheeses

White Meat (chicken, rabbit, turkey, etc…) and

Fish (fish sword, sardines, tuna, clears)

Eggs

Red meat (veal, lamb, etc…) (consume less)

Walnuts contain polyphenols and other anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids. Abundant vegetables, fiber-rich beans, fresh breads and healthy fats found in olives and nuts are the mainstay of this region and essential to everyone’s good health and vitality.

The Mediterranean Diet is now recognized as one of the healthiest diets in the world.

By: Pradeep Mahajan

Pradeep Mahajan: He is an engineer-MBA. He has multiple interests which primarily include health, investments, management & technological topics. Being a health enthusiast, he researches, studies & writes on health topics, often in consultation with medical & health professionals. He keeps track of proven ways for achieving better health & fitness through diet, exercises, stress management & healthy lifestyles. Do you want to learn more about current & other related articles? Visit http://www.health-fitness-wellness.com for practically useful information on health & healthy lifestyles.

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