Mediterranean Diet

If you are looking for heart-friendly diet, then a Mediterranean diet is probably the right plan for you. A Mediterranean diet comprises of savory olive oil, red wine, and some other components that characterize the traditional style of cooking prevalent in Mediterranean sea bordering countries.

  • Special traits of a Mediterranean diet

  • Eating plant-based foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes.

  • Replacement of butter with olive oil, canola oil or other such healthy fats.

  • Use of spices and herbs in place of salt.

  • Eating poultry and fish at least two times per week.

  • Consuming red meat only a few times a month.

  • Drinking a glass of red wine.

Mediterranean diet also lays emphasis on enjoying the meal with friends and family.

  • How is a Mediterranean diet beneficial?

According to several research studies, the Mediterranean diet helps in reducing the risk of having heart disease. It is also said to be associated with reduced risks of cardiovascular and overall mortality. It contributes to reduced incidences of cancer, cancer mortality, hyperlipidemia, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Overall, a Mediterranean diet can lead to a longer life span by decreasing all these health risks and making your heart healthier.

  • Key components of a Mediterranean diet

A traditional Mediterranean diet comprises of rice, pasta, vegetables and fruits. For example, a typical Mediterranean diet follower eats limited amounts of red meat, and takes 9 servings of antioxidant rich vegetables and fruits everyday. Mediterranean food contains very low levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol that is responsible for building up of deposits in the arteries.

  • Why Nuts?

Nuts are also a key part of a Mediterranean diet. Nuts have high fat content, most of which is unsaturated, and should be eaten in raw form.  The  honey roasted, candied, and salted nuts should be avoided.

  • Why Grains?

Grains used in a Mediterranean diet are typically whole grains, usually containing very low amounts of unhealthy transfats. Bread is eaten either plain or after dipping in olive oil, instead of being eaten with margarine or butter.

  • Why Olive Oil?

Olive basket and olive oil

Olive basket and olive oil

Olive oil plays an important role in reducing LDL cholesterol, and the antioxidants present in it have anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory effects.

 

Flavanoids present in red wine have powerful antioxidant characteristics which contribute to improved health.

If you are ready to make some changes in your eating habits, then a typical Mediterranean diet is sure to make changes in your overall health for the better.