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The Mediterranean Diet – a Heart Healthy Food Plan!

the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is not a diet as in “go on a diet”, rather it is a way of life and a way of eating that could promote optimal health and weight loss.  It has actually been recognized as a way of eating by the medical profession since the 1940’s.  However, it was not until the 1990’s that it became a mainstream model as a healthy plan of eating.  It still continues to make health news headlines today as a diet that lowers cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes.  As little as two weeks ago, this diet was credited for reversing stroke risk in Heart.org, a journal for cardiologists.

And all this despite that this diet is not a low fat or low sodium diet!

The Mediterranean diet secret may lie in the abundant use of Virgin Olive Oil.  Olive oil contains a very high level of monounsaturated fat, including oleic acid which has been linked to a reduction in the risk of heart disease.  Other characteristics of this diet include a high consumption of fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains,  a moderate consumption of fish, dairy and red wine, and a low consumption of red meat.

Add to this, that with the exception of city dwellers, the people of this area lead a much more physically active lifestyle and you have a great model for healthy living in general.

Pros and Cons of The Mediterranean Dietmediterranean food list

Pros

  • Real whole foods that we can easily obtain
  • The whole family can enjoy this healthy way of eating
  • It is not a ‘diet’, it is a healthy lifestyle, therefore easier to maintain.

Cons

  • This is not about the diet, but more of a perception that people have.  I have seen people who feel that a plate of pasta and a bottle of wine ‘qualifies’ as a healthy ‘Mediterranean diet’ meal.
  • People want instant gratification and because this is not a fast weight loss diet, it is a long term way of eating to promote health, people tend to abandon it in favor of a crash diet.

 

If you would like to obtain some free articles and a newsletter concerning The Mediterranean Diet, you can get those here.

I have a co-worker who is Italian and has managed to stay very slim all of her life.  She grew up eating the Mediterranean foods as a natural way of eating and is very liberal with olive oils, avocado and other natural fats.  I love eating at her place and to me she is a living testament of how Mediterranean meals can be a way of life and a very healthy and enjoyable one at that!

Check below for some recommended books on getting the Mediterranean foods into your life!

The Mediterranean Prescription: Meal Plans and Recipes to Help You Stay Slim and Healthy for the Rest of Your Life The Mediterranean Diet for Beginners: The Complete Guide – 40 Delicious Recipes, 7-Day Diet Meal Plan, and 10 Tips for Success Genco Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 1 Gallon

 

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