Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet

by Posted on: May 6, 2015Categories: LiveWell 24/7   

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The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on the traditional foods and drinks of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. It is more a lifestyle than a diet because it incorporates the importance of meals with friends and family and physical activity in addition to emphasis on specific foods. The nutritional part of the diet emphasizes primarily plant based foods such as fruits and veggies, whole grains, legumes and nuts, replacing butter with healthy fats like olive oil, herbs and spices instead of salt for seasoning, limited red meat, fish and poultry often and red wine in moderation. Traditionally, grains are whole grains and have very few unhealthy Trans fats. Bread is important in the diet; however, it is eaten with olive oil instead of margarine or butter. Its recommended to eat a handful of nuts a day because they are high in healthy fat. Basically, the Mediterranean diet doesn’t limit fats, but instead it opts for healthier fats. Fish is eaten on a regular basis and wine is consumed in moderation although the health effects of alcohol are heavily debated. The downside to the Mediterranean diet is it may be expensive, cooking fresh food takes time and it is not specifically designed for weight loss. However, it covers all major food groups, incorporates diverse flavors, may be easier to adhere to and is close to the dietary recommendations outlined by the American Heart Association. In addition to the diet, look for ways to be more active because good food alone isn’t enough. Cook and enjoy your meals with family and friends as well because social interactions contribute to good health. Following the Mediterranean diet may help lower your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, fight certain cancers, reduce asthma, avoid diabetes, resist depression and nurture healthier babies. For more information on the diet plan, visit mayoclinic.org

Source: MayoClinic, Old Ways, BUMC 

 

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