“I'm on a seafood diet. I see food and I eat it.” ~Author Unknown
Studies released this week indicate that the Mediterranean Diet is a real winner. It is good for your heart, incorporates real food that is easy to make.
The Mediterranean Diet is a heart healthy eating plan. The Mediterranean Diet includes the basics of healthy eating plus a splash of olive oil and a glass of red wine. A healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains and limit unhealthy fats.
The traditional Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of heart diseases. The Mediterranean Diet also reduces the incidence of cancer and cancer mortality, and reduced incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Most if not all major scientific organizations encourage healthy adults to adapt a style of eating like that of the Mediterranean diet for prevention of major chronic diseases.
Key Components of the Mediterranean Diet
· Get plenty of exercise
· Eat primarily plant based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
· Replace butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
· Use herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
· Limit red meat to no more than a few times a month
· Eat fish and poultry at least twice a week
· Drink red wine in moderation
Fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains
The Mediterranean Diet includes fruits, vegetables, pasta, rice and very little red meat. Nuts are another part of the diet. Because nuts are high in calories, they should be eaten in moderation. Grains are typically whole grain and usually contain few unhealthy trans fats.
The Mediterranean Diet features olive oil as the primary source of fat. Olive oil can help reduce LDL Cholesterol. Canola oil and some nuts contain a type of omega-3 fatty acid that helps lower triglycerides. Fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Alcohol consumed in moderation has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease. The Mediterranean Diet includes no more than 5 ounces of wine for a woman and 10 ounces for a man. Keep in mind that the wine is optional and if you have a family history of alcohol abuse or heart or liver disease you may want to refrain from drinking alcohol.
· Eat your vegetables and fruits. Switch to whole grains. Strive for seven to ten servings a day of vegetables and fruits.
· Keep almonds, cashews, pistachios and walnuts on hand for a quick snack.
· Use olive oil or canola oil as a healthy replacement for butter or margarine
· Use herbs and spices in place of salt
· Eat fish once or twice a week
· Substitute fish and poultry for red meat
· Switch to skim milk, fat-free yogurt and low fat cottage cheese
· Have a glass of wine at dinner
What do you think about the Mediterranean Diet?