Mediterranean Diet Has Proven Health Benefits

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( — June 12, 2013) Portland, OR — Individuals at high-risk for heart attack and stroke can reduce the risk of death up to 30 percent by simply switching  to a Mediterranean diet. You also can receive the additional benefit of a trimmer waistline.

Researchers didn’t focus on cholesterol or blood pressure or weight but only focused on death rates directly caused by cardiovascular events, and discovered profound insights on what an impact this style of eating returns.

The Mediterranean diet is simply another way of eating healthy. Fruits. Vegetables. Whole grains. Lean proteins. Healthy fats.

Slight variations in your eating approach can impact how successfully you counter heart disease and other health risks. Eating a healthy diet is great. But adopting a Mediterranean diet may be even better.

In a study of one and a half million healthy adults, scientists found that eating a Mediterranean diet was associated with better overall health, a reduced risk of heart disease and death from cardiovascular issues, a lower rate of cancer, and fewer cases of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Central to Mediterranean eating are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs, spices, and red wine. Meals are built around these foods. Vegetables and other plant based foods play the central role rather than meat. Choose fish and seafood twice a week. Include chicken, turkey, eggs, dairy, and other poultry in moderate portions.

Less frequently, include beef, pork, and lamb with your meals. Maybe once or twice a week. Reduce sweets. Try to eliminate the sweet tooth.

Shoot for nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day… five at the least. Sound toughs, but get creative. For breakfast, enjoy a piece of fresh fruit or sauté some veggies and add them to an omelet.

For lunch and dinner, add salad to your meal, and ensure an additional serving of veggies in whatever you’re eating. That will add in four more servings, at least.

Reach for fruit instead of sweets and reach for veggies as your snack, and you’ll have nine servings before you know it.

Nuts and seeds are great snack foods. They are calorie dense and rich in healthy fats. Munch on a handful a day, but watch out! Extra calories can mean extra pounds if you’re not careful.

One benefit of the Mediterranean diet is that it’s easy on the pocket book. Reducing red meat and eating more veggie-centered meals can help save on grocery bills.

In one study, volunteers of modest means took cooking classes to learn more about the Mediterranean diet and how to cook in that style. Six months after taking the classes, most of the participants had cut their grocery bills in half and reduced or eliminated sodas and junk food. They also shaved their dependence on food banks and government programs for assistance with their grocery bills, which is a good thing for everyone.

And they “accidentally” reduced their weight, which wasn’t even one of the goals!

This is one eating plan that is worth a look. Give it a try!


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