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The Mediterranean Diet

Doctors Review: The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet focuses on mostly sound principles of healthy, natural foods. The majority of its influence comes from the area where it is based and the normal diet of people around the Mediterranean… thus the name.

Benefits of The Mediterranean Diet

There has been lots of research about the Mediterranean Diet and the foods associated to it as a whole and individually. The diet has been associated with a lower levels of LDL cholesterol — the “lousy” cholesterol that’s associated to deposits building up and clogging your arteries.

The Mediterranean diet has also been linked to reduced incidences of:

  • Parkinson’s
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Breast cancer

“Let your food be thy medicine.”

When you eat great, healthy, non-processed food… you get health benefits.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:

  • Pant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
  • Herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat consumption
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week

Fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains

The Mediterranean diet traditionally includes fruits, vegetables, pasta and rice.

Grains in the Mediterranean region are typically whole grain containing very few unhealthy trans fats, and bread is an important part of the diet there. People in the region eat bread plain or dipped in olive oil, not with butter or margarines.

Nuts are high in fat. Approximately 80 percent of calories in nuts come from fat. The best part is that the fat in nuts is not saturated.

Healthy fats

The Mediterranean diet focuses on healthy fats and excludes the majority of saturated fats and hydrogenated oils which are major contributors to heart disease.

Olive oil as the primary source of fat. Olive oil provides monounsaturated fat that can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels. The Extra virgin, cold pressed is by far the best choice when it comes to Olive Oil.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts and fatty fish have very impressive health benefits. Omega 3 fatty acids  lower triglycerides, decrease blood clotting, decreased sudden heart attack, improve the health of your blood vessels, and help moderate blood pressure.

Fish is a big part of the Mediterranean Diet most noteworthy is the type of fish and the availability of fresh fish is amazing in the region.

Wine

The Mediterranean diet includes a moderate amount of wine (almost always red wine).  Moderate consumption means no more than 5 ounces for women and 10 ounces for men per day, so consider the amount before you think, Wine is OK”.

My Takeaways…

The Mediterranean diet is a pretty decent choice for focusing a healthy diet. People that adopt the Mediterranean diet are using more natural foods that are fresh and this could be the simple reason for the health benefits.  Your focus on processed and packaged foods is eliminated.

If this were a diet that I was going to adopt for myself I would make some subtle changes to make it even better.

  • Limit fruit to one serving per day.
  • Swap out olive oil with avocado oil.
  • Way less focus on the bread.
  • Increase lean red meat to once a week.
  • No wine.

What Do You Think?

Have you tried the Mediterranean Diet? Did you like it? Are you doing it now? Would you do it?
Let me know. I would love to hear what you think and your take on it.

Leave a comment below!!

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